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Public Charge Proposal Would Jeopardize Care for Millions, Drive up Costs


Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals

WASHINGTON — The administration’s proposal to expand the public charge designation to Medicaid, Medicare Part D subsidies, and other benefits jeopardizes the health of millions of legal residents nationally and threatens the stability of hospitals and the communities they serve.

By creating a strong disincentive to seek care, this rule would force people to forgo medical visits and medications until they are sicker and costlier to treat. It would drive higher levels of uncompensated hospital care and, ultimately, higher costs for insured patients and taxpayers.

Legal immigrants, from children to the elderly, often seek treatment at essential hospitals, which fill a safety-net role in communities across the country. Consistent with their mission and legal requirements, essential hospitals provide high-quality care for these and other vulnerable people.

This proposal only would reduce access to these vital health care services and lead to worse health outcomes. It offers no benefit beyond existing law, which already bars undocumented immigrants from Medicaid and other public assistance programs and requires legal residents to wait five years before enrolling in Medicaid and Medicare.

We urge the administration to withdraw this damaging proposal immediately.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 325 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

Carl Graziano


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