Defending Access to Care for Immigrants

November 10, 2023

The case of Texas v. Mayorkas challenges a policy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that interprets the “public charge” rule in a way that helps ensure that immigrants can access Medicaid without causing harmful immigration consequences. ACS CAN and other public health partnersPDF icon filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to consider the potential ramifications for our nation’s public health before taking action that might disrupt Medicaid access for populations that already face significant barriers accessing health care services.

The brief urges the court to uphold the current administration’s 2022 public charge policy, providing scientific data regarding enrollment in Medicaid and the correlation between access and the use of preventive health services. Increased enrollment in Medicaid leads to increased use of preventive health services, which in turn lowers health care costs and improves patient outcomes. The brief also details how eliminating barriers to Medicaid enrollment reduces socioeconomic inequities and promotes financial stability, including for immigrant communities where many are not offered health care coverage through their employer.

Without this critical policy, immigrant communities will lack access to immunization against communicable disease, treatable conditions will go undetected, and illnesses will be allowed to progress without medical treatment. Read our press release.