THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF MOUNT SINAI PUBLISHES OPINION HEADLINED “THE HIGH PRICE OF THE PUBLIC CHARGE RULE: AMERICA WILL GET SICKER IF THIS ANTI-IMMIGRATION MEASURE GOES INTO EFFECT”

On October 29, 2019 the New York Daily News published an opinion by Kenneth Davis, MD, President and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System under the headline “The high price of the public charge rule: America will get sicker if this anti-immigration measure goes into effect.” 

The opinion concerned the Public Charge Rule, an Administration measure that would expand the definition of “public charge,” thereby allowing immigration officials to reject the permanent resident applications of legal immigrants who used Medicaid, Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) subsidies, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and section 8 housing benefits. The Rule had been expected to take effect on October 15, 2019, but its implantation was stayed by three federal judges pending resolution of legal challenges. 

Dr. Davis’s opinion points out that although the Rule was “designed to save money and make these individuals independent and self-reliant. In fact, it will do just the opposite.” He supports this opinion by citing to statistics and the government’s own report, which “predicts this rule will lead to ‘worse health outcomes’ and ‘increased use of emergency rooms and emergent care.’” 

Dr. Davis gave the specific example of a Mount Sinai patient who refused to use Medicaid, even though her condition was interfering with her ability to work, out of fear that she would be deemed a public charge. Dr. Davis concludes that “[d]iscouraging the users to take advantage of these programs compromises health. The rule would make individuals – and by extension our communities – sicker.” 

Dr. Davis’s opinion is linked here

Whatley Kallas, LLP’s previous article on provider opposition to the Public Charge Rule is linked here.