Judge Simon Blocked Trump’s Insurance Policy for Immigrants

Last modified: November 27, 2019

Oregon-based federal judge, Michael Simon, put an end to the insurance mandate of President Donald Trump. The policy is said to have the capacity to hinder hundreds of thousands of people from migrating to the US. 

According to Trump’s policy that was unveiled in October, immigrants’ visas will be denied unless they buy health insurance within a month of entering the country. Otherwise, they have to prove that they can cover their medical expenses. 

On Tuesday, Simon ordered the State Department to stop enforcing Trump’s insurance policy. According to him, the policy is blocking poor people from entering the country since buying unsubsidized insurance would be required. Thus, they won’t be covered by the financial assistance through Obamacare. 

When Simon issued the order against Trump’s insurance policy, he wrote that approximately 60% of all immigrants would be affected. Also, the president didn’t offer foreign relation justifications for such a huge change in immigration law. 

If Simon hadn’t interfered, the policy could have been enforced on December 1st. 

On October 4th, the mandate was released, causing uncertainties in the community of immigrants. During that period, the president laid out all the options immigrants had at their disposal for buying health insurance in exchange for getting a visa. 

According to the mandate, they cannot use the federal subsidies to get Obamacare coverage but they can buy short-term insurance plans. These are plans promoted by the administration; known for being cheap, yet offering limited coverage. 

New York and California — two states that attract a huge number of immigrants — banned the sales of such plans since they often leave people underinsured.   

Furthermore, plaintiffs estimated that the state, with the help of the insurance policy, would potentially bar up to 375,000 people who would otherwise be legal immigrants.  

The State Department tried to scale down the criticisms, stating that the policy would not, in fact, impact all the immigrants; for instance, children entering the country to reunite with their parents. 

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