President Donald Trump on Friday, Oct. 4, signed a proclamation on the suspension of entry of immigrants which requires them to prove they can afford health care before being granted visas.

The proclamation says immigrants will be barred from entering the United States unless they can demonstrate they will have health insurance within 30 days of entering or have enough financial resources to pay for any medical costs.

The proclamation shall apply only to aliens seeking visas abroad, not those in the United States already. It also applies to spouses and parents of U.S. citizens, but not children.

The proclamation will take effective from Nov. 3, 2019.

The proclamation came as the Trump administration claims that health care 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 health care. Hospitals and other providers often administer care to the uninsured without any hope of receiving reimbursement from them.

The costs associated with the care are passed on to the American people in the form of higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher fees for medical services. 

Total uncompensated care costs 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 administration said it will continue the U.S.’s long history of welcoming immigrants who come lawfully in search of brighter futures, but it will have to address the challenges facing the health care system, including protecting both it and the American taxpayer from the burdens of uncompensated care. 

“Continuing to allow entry into the United States of certain immigrants who lack health insurance or the demonstrated ability to pay for their health care would be detrimental to these interests,” the proclamation says.

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