Defending Immigrants’ Access to Medicaid

February 8, 2024

Immigration policy of the Biden administration details how the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) interprets the “public charge” rule in a way that helps ensure that immigrants can access health care and other supplemental government services to which they are entitled by law, without causing harmful immigration consequences. The state of Texas sued Alejandro Mayorkas in his capacity as US Secretary of DHS, claiming the administration’s policy violates federal immigration statutes, causing damage to the state by forcing it to pay Medicaid costs for immigrants

ACS CAN and public health partners support access to Medicaid regardless of immigration status, and filed an amicus brief asking the court 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 provides the court with evidence 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. Further, the brief 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. Read our statement.