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Public Charge Rule: OHSU is working to ensure continued access for health services

OHSU stands with Oregon’s immigrant communities; all Oregonians should have access to health care without fear of immigration consequences

As the state’s academic health center with a public mission to improve the health and well-being of Oregonians, OHSU continuously works to ensure that patients have access to health care. Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin to enforce what is known as the “public charge” rule, which gives immigration officials the authority to deny permanent resident status to legal immigrants who have a history of using certain public benefits, including Medicaid.

This is a troubling change in public policy that could create a barrier to health care access and runs contrary to our statewide mission. OHSU has joined Oregon’s hospitals and health systems in supporting Oregon House Bill 4029 to ensure patients and families have access to the health care services they need, by not requiring people to apply for Medicaid before receiving hospital financial assistance.

Clinicians, trainees and staff across OHSU work tirelessly to ensure all patients, regardless of status, have access to health services. We strongly believe that no one should have to fear obtaining services to protect the health of their family. OHSU will continue its work to ensure patients have necessary access to timely, affordable, high-quality care.

OHSU stands with Oregon’s immigrant communities. All are welcome here. This means OHSU is committed to creating a safe and affirming place for people with different religions, ethnic or racial backgrounds, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming communities, immigrants, Dreamers and other characteristics.

We are fortunate to have many members at OHSU who demonstrate integrity, compassion and leadership every day by providing the best possible health care, education, research and service for everyone, in a safe and inclusive environment.

If you feel targeted or vulnerable in this moment, please know that we stand with you. We welcome you, we respect you, we value you.

Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, OHSU President

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