Week in Washington: Public Charge Rule Released and Other Tidbits

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Week in Washington: Public Charge Rule Released and Other Tidbits


Public Charge Rule

This week the Trump Administration released a public charge rule. You can read the rule here or a Washington Post summary here or a very thorough summary by Kaiser Family Foundation here.

Essentially the rule will lay out criteria that influences the chances for green card members to gain citizenship.  In particular, usage of low income services (such as Medicaid) make it far less likely that green card holders will be granted citizenship if they or family members use Medicaid or other needs based programs. While the Administration did not include specific estimates on their own, previously KFF has estimated this could reduce Medicaid enrollment by approximately 2 to 5 million. This is based on KFF’s estimates that 13.5 million Medicaid and CHIUP enrollees live a in a household with at least one non-citizen. It should be noted that there is likely spillover effects to the ACA market as the rule makes citizenship more likely for non-citizens that do not receive ACA subsidies.

Already several states and counties have announced they will sue to block enforcement of the rule. While the exact legal outcome may take several years, there is likely negative impacts on Medicaid/ACA enrollment in their intervening time periods due to uncertainty. 

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