Biden Administration Revokes Trump’s Health Insurance Visa Ban
President Biden revoked a proclamation issued by former President Trump in 2019 that required nearly all prospective immigrants to demonstrate that they would be covered by private health insurance or were wealthy enough not to need it. Those needing health insurance would have to be covered within 30 days of entering the United States.
This health insurance visa ban would have amounted to a wealth test for most noncitizens wanting to immigrate to the United States.
Biden’s May 14 presidential proclamation overturning Trump’s order makes the case that “access to quality, affordable healthcare” can be achieved “without barring the entry of noncitizens who seek to immigrate lawfully to this country but who lack significant financial means or have not purchased health insurance coverage from a restrictive list of qualifying plans.”
The Trump-era health insurance visa ban would have excluded 65% of all immigrants to the United States. Trump’s order was aimed not only at keeping noncitizens who lacked health insurance out of the country. It also sought to exclude noncitizens who had publicly funded or subsidized health insurance plans, like those purchased through the exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.
The stated justification for the health insurance visa ban was that immigrants “should not further saddle our health care system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs.” This rationale overlooked the fact that immigrants are also taxpayers. They also contribute to the U.S. economy through their labor and entrepreneurship.