Medical/Dental Professionals

October 2018

I want to be sure that you are aware of a new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security to dramatically reduce the provision of health and nutrition benefits to legal immigrants (the Peter Winkelstein, MD“public charge” regulation). Our medical societies are unanimous in opposing this regulation. A joint statement from the AAFP, AAP, ACOG, ACP and APA says:

“We are united in expressing our deep concern and opposition to the public charge regulation announced yesterday by the Administration. The regulation upends decades of settled policy with regard to public charge and would make it much more likely that lawfully present immigrants could be denied green cards or U.S. visas, or even be deported, merely on the basis of seeking needed health services for them and their family, including those for which they are eligible.” (https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/advocacy/prevention/equality/ST-GroupSix-Public%20Charge-092218.pdf)

Here are links to several other statements from medical organizations:
https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Opposes-Dangerous-Public-Charge-Proposal.aspx
https://www.aha.org/press-releases/2018-09-24-aha-statement-public-charge-proposal
https://www.aafp.org/news/government-medicine/20180924publicchargerule.html
https://news.aamc.org/press-releases/article/aamc-statement-proposed-changes-public-charge-rule/
https://www.ama-assn.org/ama-statement-linking-safety-net-benefits-immigration-status

As I have said many times, it is our duty as healthcare providers to not only give the highest quality care, but to also ensure our community has access to it. I urge you to work with your societies and elected representatives to make your opinions on this matter heard. I also ask you to vote in November with the health of your patients and community in mind.

Peter Winkelstein, MD, MS, MBA, FAAP
Medical/Dental Staff President
Kaleida Health