Biden Administration Unwinds Trump-Era ‘Public Charge’ Policy For Immigrants

Green card applications will no longer be impacted by a person’s use of government-funded services like Medicaid or SNAP. The revised final rule, issued by the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, formally eases health care access for noncitizen immigrants. The Biden administration had previously stopped enforcement of the Trump-era policy.

Modern Healthcare: Biden Administration Finalizes ‘Public Charge’ Replacement
The U.S. will not deny green cards based on a person’s use of Medicaid and most other government health programs under a regulation published Thursday that rescinds the Trump-era “public charge” policy designed to discourage immigration. (Goldman, 9/8)

Stat: DHS Issues Rule To Revise Trump’s ‘Public Charge’ Policy, Easing Access To Health Services For Immigrants
The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday issued a new rule to revise a Trump administration policy that effectively discouraged non-citizen immigrants from using government-funded health services. The new rule clarifies that DHS will not classify non-citizens as “public charges” — a classification that could result in them being denied green cards — based on their use of health-related benefits and government services. (Trang, 9/8)

The Hill: DHS Unwinds Trump-Era Public Charge Restrictions
The Biden administration stopped defending the Trump-era rule just months after taking office, but the new rule is a departure from a Trump-era policy requiring prospective new citizens to forecast whether they might at any time rely on government aid. The Trump-era rule barred those who received assistance from one program over the course of a year and roped in new programs that were previously excluded from consideration, including food stamps and medical assistance. (Beitsch, 9/8)

In news about the Affordable Care Act —

KHN: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Judge Takes Aim At The Affordable Care Act’s Preventive Care Benefits
The same federal judge in Texas who tried — unsuccessfully — to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act in 2018 has ruled that portions of the health law’s preventive care benefit package are unconstitutional. But it will be a long time, with many more court actions, before it becomes clear whether the decision will change how the law works. (9/8)

The Agriculture Department issues its report on food insecurity —

The New York Times: Food Insecurity For Families With Children Reached Two-Decade Low In 2021 
Food insecurity for households with children declined to its lowest rate in two decades last year, the Agriculture Department said on Wednesday, as government assistance programs continued to blunt the effect of the coronavirus on the economy. The department’s findings were in line with data last year showing that vast expansions of government aid helped reduce hunger. But experts warned that picture was almost certain to change as pandemic-era programs expire and inflation remains high. (Qiu, 9/7)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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