Chief Communications Officer
American Medical Student Association
AMSA Opposes Proposed Public Charge Rule
Sterling, Va., September 25, 2018—On September 22, 2018, the Administration published a draft of a proposed rule that changes the definition of “public charge.” Under the proposed rule, an immigrant who is currently legally in the United States and labeled as a public charge, may be denied legal permanent residence (a green card); and individuals applying for a visa may be denied entry into the U.S. The proposed public charge rule seeks to expand the definition of public charge from legal immigrants receiving cash assistance, to those accessing any “public benefits” — Non-Emergency Medicaid, Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidies, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), public housing, and other vital welfare programs. The expansion of this definition would seriously threaten lawfully-present immigrants’ ability to pursue legal permanent residence; and it would result in negative health consequences for immigrants and their families, who may be fearful of accessing essential health care services if it compromises their immigration status.
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) believes that health care is a human right, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, primary language, place of birth, or immigration status. The proposed public charge rule would impede many families from accessing health insurance and nutrition benefits. Preventing access to these important services will not only affect the individuals without care, but it will also have further implications on public health and the general welfare.¹ AMSA strongly opposes the public charge rule and any attempt that limits access to medical care for immigrant families.
Once the proposed rule is officially published on the Federal Register, the public comment period will remain open for 60 days. We will send an update when this occurs. To learn more about the proposed public charge rule, please visit protectingimmigrantfamilies.org.
About the American Medical Student Association:
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing physicians-in-training, advocating for quality and affordable health care for all, and building the next generation of physician leaders. To join our community, visit amsa.org.