Biden cancels Trump-era health insurance requirement for new immigrants By Reuters

© Reuters. US President Joe Biden discusses the response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the White House Rose Garden vaccination program in Washington, United States, May 13, 2021. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

By Ted Hesson and Kristina Cooke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Friday revoked a 2019 proclamation by former President Donald Trump that sought to prevent the entry of immigrants who could not prove they had health insurance or could cover medical bills.

In a White House announcement, the Democratic president said the suspension imposed by his Republican predecessor “does not advance the interests of the United States.”

Trump issued a proclamation in October 2019 requiring all potential immigrants to present proof of US health insurance within 30 days of arriving in the US or enough money to pay for “reasonably foreseeable medical bills.”

A federal judge blocked the health care requirement ahead of its effective date a month later. But in a December 2020 ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Trump’s proclamation, saying it fell under the president’s executive branch.

Biden took office weeks later and lawyers said the measure never went into effect. The White House and other U.S. agencies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Biden has vowed to reverse many of Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, roll back a travel ban to 13 Muslim-majority and African countries, and stop construction of the US-Mexico border wall.

Trump’s initial announcement of health insurance requirement prompted potential immigrants to scramble insurance-leaves-immigrants-companies-scrambling-for-answers-idUSKBN1XA1G6 on how to get the coverage you need and navigate the American bureaucracy.

Immigrant advocates said the proclamation would have barred entry for as many as two-thirds of legal immigrants had it been allowed to go into effect.

Biden’s proclamation came as part of a package of actions Friday night overturning some largely symbolic political statements by Trump. These included the former president’s executive decrees ridiculing online censorship, street protests against monuments, and excessive government regulation.

Another order reversed by Biden proposed to build a sculpture garden of American “heroes”.

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