The question of whether taxpayer-subsidized healthcare should be available to undocumented immigrants with provisional resident status under a proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill drove a wedge between lawmakers on Friday.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is helping author so-called Gang of Eight legislation that includes a path to citizenship, opposed the idea of offering tax-subsidized care like Medicaid to undocumented immigrants or those with provisional status.
“We cannot be providing Obamacare subsidies to people who have been violating our immigration laws,” Rubio said on the Senate floor, as quoted by the Associated Press.
Under the Senate bill, those who entered the country illegally would only be eligible for access to Obamacare subsidies after they have been under provisional status for 10 years and have obtained their permanent resident green card.
The issue roused Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) on Thursday, who dropped out of a House group that is trying to finalize its own bill.
“What may be the story at the end of this session is that Obamacare killed immigration reform,” Labrador said.
President Barack Obama will deliver remarks about the Senate bill on Tuesday, according to a White House pool report.