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Legal Migrants Must Have Health Insurance

President signs proclamation for visa issuance

On Friday, President Trump signed a proclamation that requires legal immigrants to have health care before their travel visa to the United States is approved. The goal is to keep the financial burden off American taxpayers.

U.S. hospitals currently treat everyone, including the uninsured, at a cost of millions of dollars a year. Simple ailments that might ordinarily be seen by a primary care physician often also wind up at hospital emergency rooms. The federal government reimburses hospitals but not fully and it has become continually more and more burdensome.

In issuing the proclamation, President Trump said, “While our healthcare system grapples with the challenges caused by uncompensated care, the United States government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs. Notably, data show that lawful immigrants are about three times more likely than United States’ citizens to lack health insurance. Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our healthcare system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs.

“The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants who come lawfully in search of brighter futures. We must continue that tradition while also addressing the challenges facing our healthcare system, including protecting both it and the American taxpayer from the burdens of uncompensated care.  Continuing to allow entry into the United States of certain immigrants who lack health insurance or the demonstrated ability to pay for their healthcare would be detrimental to these interests.”

The required insurance requirement can be met with an employer-provided or individually purchased plan. Catastrophic or short-term coverage is allowed. The immigrant is allowed to obtain insurance through Obamacare but he or she will not qualify for government subsidies. 

Sources: Townhall, New York Times
As the Lord Leads, pray with us:
  • For President Trump and the decisions he makes to help alleviate undue costs and taxes on the American people.
  • For officials in the State Department who must write guidelines to implement the president’s proclamation.