Washington, DC—In response to a final rule by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that makes it harder for legal immigrants who are already in the country to obtain green cards if they’ve received public benefits such as food stamps, public housing, or Medicaid, Vidor Friedman MD, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians made the following statement:
“The American College of Emergency Physicians is concerned the final public charge rule from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a dangerous policy that could negatively impact health outcomes for all Americans.
“The rule will deter people from enrolling in Medicaid and seeking care for fear of losing their ability to receive a green card. When people avoid getting medical care, such as treatment for communicable diseases, it not only impacts the individual but could cause a public health crisis—potential straining our nation’s emergency departments.
“Emergency physicians oppose any decision that prevents people from seeking the medical care they need.”