WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Trump declared on Friday that people entering the U.S. with immigrant visas will no longer be given visas unless they can prove that they have financial resources to pay for U.S. health insurance policies.
- However, the new regulation which takes effect in 30 days did not mention specified amounts needed by uninsured immigrants to pay for health care costs.
- The new rule does not apply to refugees or children of U.S. citizens who are noncitizens.
On Friday, President Donald Trump issued an order that immigrants who can’t afford to pay for health insurance or medical costs will not be granted future visas to eventually become permanent residents.
The announcement, which is set to take effect in 30 days, comes as an additional restriction for visa applicants entering America with immigrant visas who are required to provide proof that they are financially capable of paying for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs”. However, the proclamation did not specify the amount of money needed by uninsured immigrants to provide for health care costs.
Immigrants who gain asylum status and noncitizen children of U.S. citizens like college students, who are on limited visas, are not included in the new rule.
The Wall Street Journal, which was the first to report on the new requirement, also said that the order would not consider subsidized plans under Obamacare as health insurance.
According to the White House statement, health care costs not paid or refunded by insurance are “passed on to the American people by way of higher taxes, premiums and higher medical services costs. The proclamation reveals that such costs have eclipsed $35B for each year in the last 10 years for each hospital in America.
Census data indicates about 27.5 million Americans last year who are uninsured, or around 8.5% of the population, which is the first increase in the number of Americans without health insurance in over a decade, the Journal reported.
More so with Bloomberg which reported that the yearly cost of a standard American health insurance plan was found by a study to have hiked up to more than $20,000 last year.
The proclamation declares that immigrants moving to the U.S. who will ‘financially burden’ the healthcare system of the country are suspended.
Furthermore, it states that “thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs, exacerbates the problem.” It also cited data that showed “lawful immigrants being about three times more likely than United States citizens to lack health insurance.”
The U.S. issued around 534,000 visas last year, which is a 4.6% drop from the total of the previous year, the Journal found.