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Association Submits Comments on Public Charge ANPRM

America’s Essential Hospitals submitted comments on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advanced notice of proposed rulemaking related to the public charge ground of inadmissibility.

The public charge ground of inadmissibility has faced significant administrative, regulatory, and judicial activity in the last several years. In March, under the Biden administration, DHS reversed the broadened definition of public charge, and the advance notice is the next step in identifying key considerations associated with revising the regulations on the public charge ground of inadmissibility.

The association thanked the administration for taking steps to reverse the damaging 2019 rule on the public charge ground of inadmissibility and replace it with a definition that does not cause fear in immigrant communities or discourage individuals from accessing public services for which they are eligible. To guide the administration in developing a new proposed rule on the subject, America’s Essential Hospitals urged DHS to:

  • limit the types of public benefit programs considered in the public charge definition to exclude all in-kind benefit programs and clarify that family members’ receipt of benefits is not considered in the public charge determination;
  • remove Medicaid long-term care benefits from the list of considerations in the public charge determination;
  • ensure its future public charge regulations do not lead to increased costs and strain the budgets of essential hospitals;
  • ensure the public charge definition does not undermine public health efforts; and
  • consider the affidavit of support as sufficient evidence that an applicant for immigration status is unlikely to become a public charge.

After considering feedback, DHS plans to engage in the rulemaking process to issue an updated public charge regulation.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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