Oregon Medical Association Denounces New Trump Policy Targeting Low Income Immigrants

A trade association representing health services in the state of Oregon has publicly denounced a decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week that deals with access to entitlement programs for legal immigrants seeking national citizenship.  

GOOD SAM BOSS IS ON THE BOARD: The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) joins an array of civil rights organizations, labor unions, and healthcare providers that have come out in opposition against the ruling. Doug Boysen, President and CEO of Samaritan Health Services, is an OAHHS board member.   

WHAT THE COURT DID: The court decision lifts a nationwide injunction and will allow the Trump administration greater freedom to deny applications for green cards or visas to legal immigrants who are deemed to pose the threat of an undue “public charge” because they are receiving or have received public assistance from safety net programs such as Medicaid or SNAP.    

The OAHHS is against the implementation of the public charge rule because it would likely deter some lower income immigrants who are seeking permanent citizenship from signing up for health care coverage for themselves and their families.  

Last August the Oregon Department of Justice filed a lawsuit challenging the public charge rule. According to their website, there are more than 250,000 immigrants working in Oregon, and 132,000 children covered by the Oregon Health Plan with at least one immigrant parent.   

GOVERNOR’S STATEMENT: In a press release, Gov. Kate Brown said “Our nation’s greatness is enhanced by the contributions of our immigrants, and yet the federal government continues to attack this community. The Trump Administration’s Public Charge rule will force families to choose between basic services they legally qualify for, and need to thrive: access to health care, housing and putting food on the table. It’s wrong, and we won’t stand for it in Oregon.”  

By JD Brookbank