Comments on the “Public Charge” Rule
As reported in earlier Updates –see September 26 Update (p. 3) and October 31 (p. 4) – the Department of Homeland Security proposed a rule to broaden the public benefits that would be considered when determining whether an immigrant might become a “public charge” (financially dependent on the government), and therefore should not be admitted to or permitted to stay permanently in the U.S. (get a “green card”). The additional benefits to be considered would include non-emergency Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), and housing assistance. Advocates fear that, if finalized, the proposed rule would deter citizens with immigrant family members, as well as immigrants, from applying for Medicaid and other benefits they might need. Comments on the proposed rule were due on December 10; over 200,000 comments were submitted. The Department must review the comments before it finalizes the rule.
New CLAS Report and Toolkit
The HHS Office of Minority Health has developed a framework report and toolkit to guide health care organizations’ efforts in evaluating their implementation of the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards. The toolkit distills the elements of the framework and can help guide evaluations across four settings (ambulatory care, behavioral health, hospitals and public health).