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CEO DATELINE – Medical groups decry White House proposal to deny healthcare benefits to immigrants

Oct. 11, 2018
By Walt Williams

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Patient advocacy groups and medical associations are condemning the Trump administration’s proposal to deny green cards to immigrants who use government assistance to receive health care, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

White House officials recently proposed preventing immigrants from qualifying for green cards if they use government assistance for housing, food or medical care. The move is a part of an effort by Trump to prevent what he calls “chain migration,” in which immigrants who become citizens use their new status to bring family members to the United States

Multiple health care groups have since blasted the proposed policy change, including the American Hospital Association, March of Dimes and American Medical Association. One reason is they fear it will harm overall public health.

“This is not only bad for the health and well-being of the people most directly affected, it is bad for all of us,” Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, told the Times.

Five groups representing medical professionals signed a joint letter in September expressing their “deep concern and opposition” to the administration’s plan. They said the proposal makes it “much more likely that lawfully present immigrants could be denied green cards or U.S. visas, or even be deported, merely on the basis of seeking needed health services for them and their family, including those for which they are eligible.”

The American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians and American Psychiatric Association signed the letter.