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Study: Health Insurance Not a 'Magnet' for Immigrants

November 18, 2019 (1 min read)

Nicole Narea, Vox, Nov. 18, 2019

"A new study finds that low-income, legal immigrants don’t tend to move to states that offer them health insurance, suggesting that expanding their access to medical care wouldn’t create a “welfare magnet” that could overwhelm public resources.

Using data from the American Community Survey capturing over 200,000 immigrants nationwide between 2000 and 2016, Stanford University’s Vasil Yasenov, Duncan Lawrence, Fernando Mendoza, and Jens Hainmueller found that expanding public insurance offerings in certain states didn’t have a discernible effect on immigrants who had already settled in the US choosing to relocate to those states.

The paper pushes back on President Donald Trump’s rhetoric suggesting that immigrants take advantage of public health insurance and drain the social safety net. Trump has pursued several policies impeding immigrants’ access to health care, though for now they have been blocked in federal court."