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Internal Medicine Physicians Say Regulation Change Will Protect Immigrants’ Access to Health Care

Statement attributable to:
Ryan D. Mire, MD, FACP
President, ACP

WASHINGTON September 12, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) is encouraged to see the Biden administration has finalized new regulations that will protect the ability of immigrants to access health care without threat of deportation or family separation. The regulations reverse a policy change that had been made by the Trump administration that discouraged immigrants and the families from seeking health care and other vital public assistance. ACP strongly opposed the previous changes because of the risk they posed to the health of millions of children and families. The updated public charge regulation specifically states that the use of health care, nutrition or housing assistance programs will not be considered in any immigration decisions.

ACP reaffirms that immigration policy should not interfere with the patient-physician relationship, and that health policy should not foster discrimination against any patient, regardless of immigration status. Policies that magnify fear in seeking health care are detrimental to public health. Punitive policies that penalize those in need of care can cause immigrants to delay treatment or avoid seeking care, resulting in significant worsening of conditions and ultimately a greater burden on our health care system. Immigrants already face significant barriers in obtaining necessary medical care, and ACP appreciates the Biden administration making efforts to improve their access.

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.