A U.S. Federal District Court judge has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) against U.S. President Donald Trump’s proclamation requiring intending immigrants to obtain health insurance within thirty (30) days upon their arrival in the United States or be able to show that they have enough money to pay for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs.”
Judge Michael Simon of the U.S. District Court of Oregon issued a 28-day TRO which prevented the rule from taking effect on November 3, 2019. The lawsuit, filed by several advocacy groups to block the incoming law argued that the proclamation could prevent hundreds of thousands of prospective immigrants from entering the United States.
In his 18-page order, Judge Simon wrote that the potential damage to immigrants and their families justified the TRO. “Facing a likely risk of being separated from their family members and a delay in obtaining a visa to which family members would otherwise be entitled is irreparable harm,” the order stated.
Trump’s proclamation requiring incoming immigrants to obtain health insurance out of concern that they would not be able to pay for their medical expenses appears to be at odds with healthcare policy experts. According to Leighton Ku, director of the Center of Health Policy Research at the George Washington University, recent immigrants without issuance accounted for less than one-tenth of 1 percent of U.S. medical expenditures in 2017.
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