December 10, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Public Payors Public Health Advocacy
The California Medical Association (CMA) announced its opposition to a proposed rule by the Trump administration that could jeopardize public health and deter millions of people from receiving critical health care services.
The new proposed rule would make it more difficult for noncitizens who follow all legal requirements to enter the country and advance through the immigration process. The policy change would deny entry or permanent legal status for noncitizens who may receive one or more public benefits, including Medicaid, Medicare Part D subsidies, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and several public housing programs.
“This proposed rule is a step in the wrong direction, one that could lead thousands of Californians to avoid needed health care,” said David H. Aizuss, M.D., CMA president. “We are particularly concerned about the chilling effect it could have on children’s health, if parents are fearful that utilizing health care services could jeopardize their immigration status. Instead of focusing on divisive policies that jeopardize patients’ health, we should be working together to find ways to make care more affordable and more accessible to all Californians.”
In formal comments to the Department of Homeland Security on Monday, CMA raised concerns that the rule could cause confusion and panic among many immigrants, even those not subject to the rule, and lead millions of people to forego essential health care services.
Scores of California doctors have filed their own comments with DHS urging the administration to withdraw the proposed rule.
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The California Medical Association represents the state’s physicians with more than 44,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties, and CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California. For more information, please visit CMAdocs.org, and follow CMA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.