President Donald Trump signed a proclamation that will go into effect next month. Immigrants applying for US visas will be denied if they cannot pay for health insurance or medical care.
The new rule applies to those seeking immigrant visas from abroad and does not apply to lawful permanent residents. It also doesn’t affect refugees, asylum seekers, and children.
However, it would apply to the parents and spouses of US citizens and could have an impact on people who are trying to bring their loved ones to the US.
According to the proclamation, immigrants will not be allowed to enter the country unless they can prove that they can pay for health insurance within 30 days.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration made changes to rules that would deny green cards to immigrants who use forms of public assistance.
Officials were also directed to recover income-based welfare payments from a sponsor and proposed a rule for people seeking access to public housing benefits to show immigration status.
The required insurance can be provided by an employer or bought individually. It can also be catastrophic or short-term coverage.
But an immigrant won’t be able to get a visa if using the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies when purchasing insurance as those subsidies are paid for by the federal government.
The executive vice president for health policy at Kaiser Family Foundation, Larry Leavitt, wrote on Twitter: “While lawful immigrants qualify for ACA subsidies, they’ll be stuck in a catch-22 because subsidized coverage does not qualify as insurance under the proclamation.”
The White House previously said in a statement that many non-citizens take advantage of the ‘generous public health programs’ and immigrants also contribute to the issue of ‘uncompensated health care costs.’
Doug Rand, a former Obama administration official, tweeted: “This new attempt at an immigration ban is as shameless as it is stunning.
“It will be chaotic to implement and guaranteed to separate U.S. citizens from their legal immigrant spouses and other close relatives.”
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