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Protecting Access to Care for Legal Immigrants

Swedish is part of a grassroots campaign that gives our caregivers the voluntary opportunity to take a stand to help preserve access to Medicaid and other important programs. This campaign is also open to anyone who would like to join us in speaking up for legal immigrants.

A troubling new proposal by two federal agencies would limit the ability of legal immigrants to change their immigration status or gain full citizenship based on their receipt of public benefits. Enrolling in public benefits would be a negative factor in making an immigration determination, including Medicaid, the Medicare Part D low-income medication subsidy and other important social programs.

The data brings a sharp focus to the implications of this proposed rule:

  • More than 5 million people who currently receive Medicaid are in households that include foreign-born noncitizens.

  • A recent analysis found that 4.8 million children who have a current or recent medical diagnosis, disability or a need for a specific therapy live in households with at least one noncitizen adult and were insured by Medicaid or CHIP.

  • Medicaid is the largest provider for mental health services in the U.S. Without the Medicaid subsidy, individuals would no longer have access to essential health services for mental health and other chronic illnesses.

As a health care leader and physician, I am deeply concerned. Large numbers of adults and children across Washington State could be affected and the impact would be far reaching across the country. Many individuals and families are likely to drop or forego enrollment, cutting off their access to health care. Others may be fearful to use public benefits that do not count toward a public charge determination. Learn more in this fact sheet.

It is part of our commitment of service to care for families and individuals who are at risk or vulnerable in some way. All of us have the power to be advocates on their behalf, and I am proud that Swedish is speaking up today.

Anyone can take action. Should you choose to do so, there is a link directly below where you can participate – it is quick and easy.

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