Study: California Could Lose Millions As Immigrants Begin Disenrolling From Healthcare Programs (KPBS)

By Max Rivlin-Nadler, for KPBS, September 26, 2019   

California could lose more than $500 million in federal funding if the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule goes into effect next month (Oct 15th).

The “public charge” rule is meant to discourage immigrants from accessing social services. According to a study released last week by researchers at UCLA and the California Immigrant Policy Center, California could lose millions in federal funding that would have gone to hospitals, labs and other health services in the state that treat immigrants.

The “public charge” rule would make it difficult for immigrants to obtain legal status in the country if they have used, or are likely to use, social services like the state’s federally-funded Medi-Cal program.

Since the rule was first announced last year, enrollment in social services throughout the state’s immigrant population has already begun to decrease. The report found that between 317,000 - 741,000 non-citizen immigrants who are eligible for Medi-Cal will drop from the program once the new public charge rule takes effect on Oct 15.

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