Healio Special Report: Health Care and Politics
Healio Special Report: Health Care and Politics
August 13, 2019
2 min read

AAP, AAFP, ACP, urge Trump administration to rescind final 'public charge' rule

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Photo of Julie M. Linton
Julie M. Linton

The AAP, American Academy of Family Physicians, ACP and several other medical societies expressed "deep concern and opposition" to the final public charge regulation issued by the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS.

The societies said in a statement that that the DHS recently issued a final regulation that changes long-standing rules governing "how and whether immigrants can be determined to be a 'public charge'; widens the scope of programs considered by the government in making such a determination; and serves as a barrier to accessing health care for legal immigrants, as doing so can now serve as a basis for denying individuals green cards or U.S. visas."

The medical organizations, which also included the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association and American Psychiatric Association, urged DHS to rescind the public charge final rule and to "work with them to ensure broader access, improved quality, and more affordable care for our patients."

Julie M. Linton, MD, FAAP, co-chair of AAP's Immigrant Health Special Interest Group, previously explained other ramifications of the proposal to Healio.

"[This would] create a dangerous dilemma by forcing families to make an impossible choice between vital health, nutrition and housing services or keeping their families together. I have already witnessed the chilling effects of the leaked proposal with families forgoing health services for their children or even disenrolling from programs for which they are in fact eligible,” she said in interview when the rule was first introduced in September.

AAP data released concurrently with the rule's introduction last fall suggested that one in four children in the U.S. was either born, or has at least one parent that was born outside the United States, and that more than 46 million children in the U.S. used Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 2017. - by Bruce Thiel and Janel Miller


AAP opposes dangerous public charge proposal. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Opposes-Dangerous-Public-Charge-Proposal.aspx. Accessed Sept. 24, 2018.

Joint Statement of America’s Frontline Physicians Opposing Public Charge Final Rule. https://www.aafp.org/media-center/releases-statements/all/2019/joint-statement-of-americas-frontline-physicians-opposing-public-charge-final-rule.html. Accessed Aug. 13, 2019.

DHS announces new proposed immigration rule to enforce long-standing law that promotes self-sufficiency and protects American taxpayers. https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/09/22/dhs-announces-new-proposed-immigration-rule-enforce-long-standing-law-promotes-self. Accessed Sept. 24, 2018

Disclosure: Linton reports no relevant financial disclosures.