US judge blocks Trump's health insurance rule for immigrants

US judge blocks Trump's health insurance rule for immigrants

US judge blocks Trump's health insurance rule for immigrants

A United States judge has temporarily blocked a rule proposed by President Donald Trump that would require immigrants to prove they will have health insurance within 30 days of arrival in the U.S., or can pay for medical care.

"We're very grateful that the court recognized the need to block the health care ban immediately", Sung said at Saturday's hearing in Portland. "It will affect mostly immigrants from Latin America, Africa, and Asia, by drastically reducing, if not eliminating, the numbers of immigrants who enter the United States with family-sponsored visas, humanitarian visas, or diversity visas".

The prospective measure would not apply to those already in the United States, nor would it apply to lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, refugees or children.

Other factors behind the rule was Trump's promise to limit the great influx of immigrants by using a merit-based system.

The Migration Policy Institute estimated that the presidential proclamation could prohibit the entry of about 375,000 immigrants annually, mainly affecting family-based immigrants, who make up the majority of green-card holders.

President Donald Trump had signed the proclamation on October 4 that states: "Continuing to allow entry into the United States of certain immigrants who lack health insurance or the demonstrated ability to pay for their healthcare would be detrimental to these interests".

Trump said immigrants are contributing to the problem of "uncompensated health care costs" that are "passed on to the American people in the form of higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher fees for medical services".

The rule states that insurance must be purchased individually or provided by an employer.

The policy is part of Mr Trump's effort to shift the USA away from a family-focused immigration system.

Under the rule, an immigrant can not get a visa if they are covered by subsidies from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as those are paid for by the federal government.

According to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, 57 percent of USA immigrants had private health insurance in 2017 compared to 69 percent of US -born citizens who had private health coverage, and 30 percent of immigrants had public health insurance versus 36 percent of native-born people.

According to an analysis by Leighton Ku, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University, recent immigrants without insurance accounted for less than one-tenth of 1% of USA medical expenditures in 2017.

About 1.1 million people obtain green cards to become permanent residents of the USA, every year.

"We applaud the court's ruling; countless thousands across the country can breathe a sigh of relief today because the court recognized the urgent and irreparable harm that would have been inflicted", Jesse Bless, director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), said in a statement.

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