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5 Oct, 2019 04:26

Exile poor Americans next? Trump scorched over entry ban for migrants who can’t afford health insurance

Exile poor Americans next? Trump scorched over entry ban for migrants who can’t afford health insurance

The White House has issued a proclamation demanding that migrants prove they can afford to pay for healthcare in the United States before they are allowed to enter the country, kicking off fierce debate among netizens.

Issued late on Friday, the new directive says immigrants must prove their ability to purchase health insurance within 30 days of entering the country, arguing the uninsured are passing on costs to US taxpayers and over-burdening the healthcare system.

An alien will financially burden the United States healthcare system unless the alien will be covered by approved health insurance… within 30 days of the alien’s entry into the United States, or unless the alien possesses the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs.

“Healthcare providers and taxpayers bear substantial costs in paying for medical expenses incurred by people who lack health insurance,” the document reads, adding the problems are worsened “by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs.”

In each year over the last decade, health providers have covered over $35 billion in expenses for uninsured patients, or about $7 million on average for every hospital in the US, the White House said.

Uniting two of the thorniest issues on the American political landscape – healthcare and immigration – the new rule has prompted heated arguments online, with some pointing out that many US citizens, too, are unable to afford healthcare.

Others observed that the move would likely be a windfall for insurance providers, potentially incentivizing thousands of migrants to purchase short-term “junk” plans in order to comply with the new rule.

Many also took to social media to cheer the rule as part of the “America First” agenda the president campaigned on, though many of the favorable commenters mentioned illegal immigration, apparently misunderstanding the scope of the proclamation.

The directive, which takes effect November 3, will not apply to asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants on Medicaid, or those staying in the US on temporary visitor visas.

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