Because immigration reform and healthcare reform have a lot in common
"They say that as the bill is written, it’s possible that people with RPI status, even as they’re excluded from health insurance exchange tax credits, may be pegged with the individual mandate penalties that Americans who refuse to buy healthcare are forced to pay. That is, immigrants won’t get any help paying for unaffordable care, but could be fined for not buying into the system anyway. (I can imagine this would be seen as a win/win by the rentiers)
The language is indeed confusing. The sections of the ACA and the tax code that the immigration bill cites do not appear to deal with exclusion from the Obamacare health insurance mandate. But a Senate staffer who worked on the bill did tell me clearly that the senators’ intent in writing the legislation was to exclude RPI status immigrants from healthcare altogether—mandate and all. I imagine we could see that section go through a technical fix for clarity in the weeks to come."