Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society will oppose “public charge” proposal, which could cause immigrants to defer health care out of fear

Massachusetts Medical Society will oppose “public charge” proposal, which could cause immigrants to defer health care out of fear

As a family physician and president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, I am fearful.  As a person who legally immigrated to this great nation with my family, I am gravely concerned.

The proposed changes in rules related to families and individuals deemed a “public charge” could have disastrous consequences for the health and wellbeing of those who will be affected.

It is my belief and the unwavering policy of our organization’s 25,000 physicians and medical student members that we commit to working for the best possible health care for every patient in the Commonwealth regardless of racial identification, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability, immigration status, or economic status. 

To be clear, no person living in the United States should ever have to defer medical treatment for fear that making use of safety net health care programs will negatively impact their immigration status or, worse yet, put in jeopardy their dreams and path to citizenship.

I can in some ways empathize with the angst and uncertainty endured by those new to this country, but I cannot fathom the fear that comes with not knowing where to turn for medical help. It would devastate me to learn that one of my patients did not receive care for no reason other than they were too scared to seek it. 

The Massachusetts Medical Society stands firmly in opposition of this proposal and will continue to advocate doggedly to make certain it is not implemented.

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