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Implications of Changing Public Charge Immigration Rules for Children Who Need Medical Care (JAMA Pediatrics)

Publication Topics

California Health Interview Survey; 2015 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2015); 2016 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2016); Health Insurance Coverage and Programs; Health Insurance Expansion; Uninsured; Immigrant; Low-Income; Racial and Ethnic Groups; Uninsured; Asian; Hispanic/Latino; Healthy Families(SCHIP) State Children's Health Insurance Program; Medicaid/Medi-Cal

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CHIS Journal Article

Publication Date


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​In October 2018, the Trump administration published a proposed rule change that would increase the chance of an immigrant being deemed a “public charge” and thereby denied legal permanent residency or entry to the United States. The proposed changes are expected to cause many immigrant parents to disenroll their families from safety-net programs, in large part because of fear and confusion about the rule, even among families to whom the rule does not technically apply. Authors simulate the potential harms of the rule change by estimating the number, medical conditions, and care needs of children who are at risk of losing their current benefits, including Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
A cross-sectional study used nationally representative data from 4,007 children 17 years of age or younger who participated in the 2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to assess their potential risk of losing benefits because they live with a noncitizen adult. Statistical analysis was conducted from January 3 to April 8, 2019.
A total of 8.3 million children who are currently enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP or receiving SNAP benefits are potentially at risk of disenrollment, of whom 5.5 million have specific medical needs. Nonetheless, among the population potentially at risk of disenrollment, medical need was less common than among other children receiving Medicaid and CHIP or SNAP.
The proposed rule is likely to cause parents to disenroll between 0.8 million and 1.9 million children with specific medical needs from health and nutrition benefits.
This study cites information from a UCLA slide presentation, How Proposed Changes to the ‘Public Charge’ Rule will Affect Health, Hunger and the Economy in California. The presentation, by authors Ninez Ponce, Tia Shimada and Laurel Lucia, features 2015-2016 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data.


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Journal Article: Implications of Changing Public Charge Immigration Rules for Children Who Need Medical Care

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Press Release

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California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

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Version: 2.0
Created at 10/30/2019 9:23 AM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste
Last modified at 10/30/2019 9:29 AM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste