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November 14, 2018

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Share ID/HIV Concerns on the Impact of the Proposed “Public Charge” Rule on Public Health

The Trump administration is proposing a significant expansion of the criteria used to determine if individuals applying for green cards may be considered a “public charge,” and potentially denied entry to the United States or permanent legal status here. Today the only criteria considered for determining who may become a “public charge” are cash assistance and government-funded long-term institutional care. The new criteria, which are the use of non-emergency Medicaid, Medicare Part D low-income subsidy assistance, housing assistance, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), would discourage immigrants from accessing basic services essential to individual and public health.

IDSA and HIVMA have heard from HIV providers that they have already seen a decline in patients from immigrant communities accessing HIV care and treatment.  The rule could also disrupt access to immunizations for children and adults, jeopardizing individuals’ health and increasing the risk of outbreaks.  

HIVMA and IDSA have developed template comments for members who may wish to comment and share how the rule, if implemented, would harm patients and public health. Template comments along with instructions for how to submit comments are available from the HIVMA website.  The deadline to comment is Dec. 10.

The proposed rule specifies that programs not named in the rule will not be considered. In submitting comments, it is important to only respond to the programs listed in the proposed rule without referencing others. Additional information on the proposed rule is available from the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign.

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