Trump Administration Formally Issues Proposed Public Charge Rule Threatening the Health and Well-Being of Families and Communities
OAKLAND, CA, October 10, 2018 – The California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) opposes the proposed public charge rule formally released today by the Trump Administration. Under the proposed rule, immigrants and their families who are legally entitled to receive public benefits could face adverse consequences when applying to change their immigration status.
“The proposed rule is an unwarranted departure from current policy and will cause harm to immigrants, their families, and our communities,” said President and CEO of CAPH Erica Murray.
The proposed rule expands the definition of public charge to include public benefits such as Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California), housing subsidies, food assistance, and help for low-income seniors to afford prescription drugs. Previously, public charge only considered cash assistance and government-funded institutionalized long-term care. If an immigrant is considered a “public charge,” they can be denied legal permanent residence status or entry into the U.S.
CAPH represents California’s 21 public health care systems that disproportionately serve low- income patients and communities. These systems provide 35% of all hospital care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries and 40% of hospital care to the remaining uninsured in the communities they serve.
“The changes proposed by the Trump Administration could force immigrant families to make an impossible decision – choosing between meeting basic needs and keeping their families together,” said Murray. “Low-income families rely on public hospital systems for essential and life-saving services, which are critical in ensuring that individuals and their families are safe, healthy, and productive in their communities.”
The public comment period on the regulation opened on October 10th and will remain open until December 10th. CAPH will submit formal comments to the Federal Register. The Department of Homeland Security will review all public comments prior to finalizing the rule.
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About the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH)
The California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) represents California’s 21 public health care systems, which are the core of the state’s health care safety net, delivering high quality care to all in need and working to improve the health of their patients and communities. For more information, visit www.caph.org.