Penalizing immigrants for obtaining Medicaid coverage puts child and family well-being at risk

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Publication
Dec 6, 2018
Emily M. Johnston, Genevieve M. Kenney, and Jennifer M. Haley for The Urban Institute
The administration has proposed an expansion of the “public charge” rule that would make it more difficult for applicants whom officials deem likely to rely on public assistance to obtain lawful permanent residence (a “green card”) or a temporary visa. Among other changes, the rule would expand public charge determinations to include an applicant’s enrollment in the Medicaid program. Adding Medicaid to the list of public charge benefits that would be considered may force immigrants to choose between health insurance coverage and a future green card—with adverse consequences for parents and their children.