January 29, 2020 – Children’s Health Fund strongly opposes the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the public charge rule to go into effect, and stands firmly with the families and children whose health and wellbeing will be harmed by this ruling. The public charge rule is financially and racially discriminatory against families seeking safety and security in the United States. This rule directly targets healthcare programs and could potentially negatively impact millions of children in America, including citizen children living in mixed-status families.
Already, a climate of fear and confusion caused by this measure has led families to disenroll their children from critical medical and nutrition assistance out of concern that enrollment may jeopardize their ability to stay in the United States. This chilling effect has forced those who are most vulnerable to, out of concern and misinformation, make decisions that undermine the already tenuous access immigrant families have to the medical and nutrition resources their children need. They are legally entitled to these resources, which are critical for healthy development and allowing them to reach their full potential.
In part because of efforts like the public charge rule, estimates show that nearly 1 million children, including children living in immigrant families, have already been disenrolled from public health insurance programs. By deterring parents from seeking, enrolling, and maintaining childrens’ critical participation in programs that support their health and wellbeing, the public charge rule has the potential to negatively impact millions more and threatens to erode hard-won accomplishments in promoting children’s health.