Wednesday, October 9, 2019
President Trump's proclamation (issued Friday, October 4) that would deny visas to immigrants who cannot prove they will obtain health insurance within 30 days or can cover medical costs could exclude two-thirds of future immigrants. In a series of tweets, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) revealed that 34% of recent adult immigrants with green cards lack health insurance. Another 31% have publicly funded or subsidized insurance that wouldn't meet Trump proclamation test: Medicaid, or insurance purchased through an ACA exchange eligible for subsidies or tax credits. The share of intending immigrants who'll struggle to prove they can get insurance within 30 days could be even higher than our estimate that 65% wouldn’t surmount hurdle, since it can take time for people to identify a health insurance plan or find a job offering insurance. In order to qualify to buy health insurance through an ACA exchange without being eligible for subsidies, a household has to have income over 400% of the federal poverty line, or over $103,000 for a family of four.
The proclamation is the latest action taken by the Trump administration to reduce legal immigration and target poor immigrants, and it may prove to be more restrictive than the new rule targeting legal immigrants who use public benefits that goes into effect October 15 and is being litigated in 8 states.