Following is a statement by Georgetown University Center for Children and Families Executive Director Joan Alker regarding the Trump Administration’s changes to the “public charge” rule:
“Today, the Department of Homeland Security finalized its radical, deeply damaging “public charge” rule. The rule would make it far more difficult to immigrate to the U.S. or obtain a green card. It would severely harm millions of children as fear and confusion about this complex rule may discourage many immigrant families from enrolling or keeping their children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.
“This complex rule will further erode the decades of progress we have made towards ensuring all children have health coverage. In 2017, we already saw the uninsured rate among children rise for the first time since comparable data was first collected in 2008. And Medicaid and CHIP enrollment among children has fallen substantially since the end of 2017.
“Yet a large and growing body of research shows that Medicaid coverage in childhood results in healthy development and better pediatric health and leads to longer, healthier lives, greater likelihood to finish high school and go to college, and a more prosperous future. Children also rely on healthy parents and other adults to give them the best chance possible of achieving their full potential. As a result, this final rule would not only sharply drive up the child uninsured rate even higher but also lead to significantly poorer health and life outcomes for millions of low-income children, especially in communities of color.”