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Tipsheet

Trump Signs Proclamation Requiring Immigrants to Have Health Care Before Visas Are Approved

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation requiring legal immigrants to have health care before their travel visa to the United States is approved. The goal is simple: keep the financial burden off the backs of Americans.

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As it currently stands, hospitals treat everyone, including those who are uninsured. Hospitals continually foot the bill and are out millions of dollars per year to those who seek services without any kind of insurance. On top of that, the uninsured flock to hospitals to treat minor illnesses, like colds and allergies, which otherwise would be dealt with at a primary care physician's office, creating a burden on emergency rooms. Even though the federal government reimburses hospitals for a portion of services rendered, hospitals are still out the difference.

When the uninsured continually seek treatment at hospitals, taxes go up so the government can continue to reimburse hospitals the small percentage it does.

According to Trump, the feds can make an impact on this problem by requiring immigrants to have health insurance before visiting the United States.

"While our healthcare system grapples with the challenges caused by uncompensated care, the United States Government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs," the proclamation reads. "Notably, data show that lawful immigrants are about three times more likely than United States citizens to lack health insurance. Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our healthcare system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs."

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"The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants who come lawfully in search of brighter futures. We must continue that tradition while also addressing the challenges facing our healthcare system, including protecting both it and the American taxpayer from the burdens of uncompensated care. 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," the proclamation states.

The required insurance requirement can be met with an employer-provided or individually purchased pIan. Catastrophic or short-term coverage is allowed. The immigrant is allowed to obtain insurance through Obamacare but he or she will not qualify for government subsidies. 

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