Biden admin wants to replace public pay rule

The Biden administration formally proposed replacement to controversial Trump-era policies that allowed federal officials to consider potential immigrant use of government programs such as Medicaid when evaluating applications for permanent residence.

Benefits, including the children’s health insurance program and most Medicaid coverage, will not count towards residency determinations under a proposed rule released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security. Cash aid, additional security income and long-term institutionalization paid for by the state will continue to be considered under the new policy.

“Under this proposed rule, we will return to the historical understanding of the term “community fee” and people will not be penalized for choosing to access medical benefits and other additional public services available to them,” Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Majorcas said. but news release.

The idea of ​​the inadmissibility of public prosecution has existed in the United States for a long time. more than a centurybut the Trump administration dramatically expanded its influence in the 2019 rule.

Research shows that this policy has significantly reduced Medicaid coverage among immigrants and their families. According to a 2021 report, more than one in six adults in immigrant families indicated that they or a family member avoided using a government program, including Medicaid, in 2020 due to concerns about future residence permit applications or immigration law. City Institute study. The Migration Policy Institute also found Noncitizen participation in Medicaid dropped by 20% between 2016 and 2019.

Trump’s public prosecution rule quickly became the subject of numerous lawsuits. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on the rule last year before the Biden administration decided not to defend the rule. The Supreme Court dismissed the case.

The Biden administration reversed and repealed the 2019 policy last March and has since been using the 1999 interim guidance on stamp duty provisions. The proposed rule, announced Thursday, aims to replace that policy.

But reversing the policy’s deterrent effects will take time and effort, experts say. A brief released by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s PolicyLab last year emphasized that repealing the rule is not enough to mitigate its effects. The summary states that health systems, public health groups and community leaders will need to invest in explaining the changes to immigrant communities and support them by applying for benefits.

The new proposed government fee rule is subject to a 60-day public comment period.

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