Congress should exempt Medicaid enrollment from the criteria in a new federal regulation that defines “public charge” or even overturn that regulation entirely, the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals has declared in a new position statement.
The new statement, developed to coincide with NASH Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. last week, notes that the fear of being designated a public charge will discourage many immigrants, including those to whom the new regulation does not even apply, from obtaining the medical care they need. As a result, as many as 13 million legal immigrants are expected to disenroll from Medicaid out of fear of being labeled a public charge or choose not to enroll in the program even though they are entitled to Medicaid benefits. Those found to be public charges risk losing green card status or even deportation.
Such individuals, NASH believes, will inevitably turn to private safety-net hospitals and others for care when they are sick or injured, placing great financial stress on these hospitals and potentially jeopardizing their ability to serve their communities. For this reason, NASH has urged Congress to remove Medicaid participation from the criteria defining a public charge or to overturn the new regulation completely.
Learn more in the new NASH position paper “Challenges Posed by the New Public Charge Regulation.”