President Trump on Friday signed a presidential proclamation that will prevent U.S. taxpayers from being forced to subsidize health care costs of legal immigrants, who will need to have their own insurance.
In the new rule, which goes into effect Nov. 3, most foreigners who apply for visas will have to have their own employer-based health insurance or a non-subsidized private health insurance plan before they arrive. The rule does not apply to refugees or those seeking political asylum or nonimmigrant visas.
The proclamation reads in part:
Healthcare providers and taxpayers bear substantial costs in paying for medical expenses incurred by people who lack health insurance or the ability to pay for their healthcare. Hospitals and other providers often administer care to the uninsured without any hope of receiving reimbursement from them. The costs associated with this care are passed on to the American people in the form of higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher fees for medical services.
“While our healthcare system grapples with the challenges caused by uncompensated care, the United States Government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs,” the proclamation says. “Notably, data show that lawful immigrants are about three times more likely than United States citizens to lack health insurance. Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our healthcare system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs.”
The new rule is expected to save billions of dollars.
“In total, uncompensated care costs — the overall measure of unreimbursed services that hospitals give their patients — have exceeded $35 billion in each of the last 10 years. These costs amount to approximately $7 million on average for each hospital in the United States, and can drive hospitals into insolvency. Beyond uncompensated care costs, the uninsured strain Federal and State government budgets through their reliance on publicly funded programs, which ultimately are financed by taxpayers,” the proclamation says.
More than 22 million non-citizens now live in the United States, according to data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to estimates extrapolated from data collected, 22.1 million are “not a U.S. citizen,” the data showed. The statistics also showed a record 13.7% of the nation’s 2018 population — nearly 44.7 million people — was born in another country, Census bureau researchers said. That’s the highest number of foreign-born citizens since 1910. Most are from Latin America.
Between 1960 and 1970, just one in 20 U.S. residents was foreign born.
“Today’s foreign-born resident rate has surged to about one in seven in California, Texas, Florida, and New York — the nation’s largest states — where the foreign born population is 15 percent higher than it is elsewhere in America,” The Daily Mail reported.
States and cities across the country are also spending billions on aid to illegal aliens. Los Angeles County, for instance, paid nearly $1.3 billion in welfare money during 2015 and 2016 to families of illegal aliens. That number amounts to one-quarter of the total spent on the county’s entire needy population, according to Fox News.
In 2015, more than 58,000 families received $602 million in benefits. The next year, some 64,000 families received $675 million.
The sanctuary county of Los Angeles draws foreigners who enter the United States illegally and now has the largest concentration of any county in the nation, according to a study from the Migration Policy Institute. Illegal aliens in the county are allowed to receive welfare and food stamp benefits.
Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation senior fellow who studies poverty and illegal immigration, told Fox the costs represent “the tip of the iceberg.”
“They get $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend,” Rector said, including the costs of education, police and fire, medical, and subsidized housing — which can total $24,000 per year in government spending per family.