Other Attacks on Immigration and Healthcare
Update: February 6, 2020
CPR joined Disability Rights California and 6 other disability advocacy organizations in an amicus brief filed today in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in opposition to President Trump’s proclamation issued in October, requiring visa applicants from abroad to buy certain approved health insurance or have the financial means to cover foreseeable medical expenses. Amici argue that the proclamation will not only fail to accomplish its purported purpose, reducing uncompensated care costs, but will do so in a way that illegally discriminates against people with disabilities.
The public charge rule may be the most well-known attempt to discourage immigration by low income and disabled people, but it is not alone. Below is an overview of the Trump Administration’s recent health insurance proclamation and the State Department’s attempted implementation. The proclamation is currently enjoined as it makes its way through the courts.
On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a proclamation mandating that visa applicants abroad buy certain approved health insurance or have the financial means to cover foreseeable medical expenses. The proclamation limits approved health insurance to plans that typically don’t meet the needs of people with disabilities and conflicts with several existing laws, including the Affordable Care Act.
The State Department then submitted an emergency effort to implement the proclamation at the end of October, leaving less than 48 hours for public comment on the proposed implementation. We submitted comments urging the State Department to reconsider those efforts, and a complaint challenging the proclamation’s legality was filed in federal court. Implementation of the proclamation was set to begin on November 3, 2019, but was blocked initially through a temporary restraining order that was set to expire at the end of November.
On November 26, 2019, the court granted a preliminary injunction, preventing the proclamation from going into effect while the litigation is ongoing, because, in the words of the court, the proclamation “does not contain any specific findings supporting the conclusion that its implementation will have any effect on the problem that it is purporting to address” and the “irreparable harm” it would cause “is immediate and significant.”