Why Muslim Ban 2.0 Combined With the Possible Repeal of Obamacare Would Make Americans Sicker

The potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, isn’t the only thing threatening Americans’ health. President Trump’s revised Muslim Ban 2.0, which seeks to ban nationals from six Muslim-majority countries, would reduce the number of foreign physicians who provide medical care to Americans. Although the ban has been blocked by two federal courts, the Justice Department has announced that it will appeal the preliminary injunction in the Maryland court decision and will continue to defend the ban in court.

While President Trump framed Muslim Ban 2.0 as an urgent national security measure, it ironically could harm another form of security for some of America’s most vulnerable communities. If implemented, it could jeopardize the health of many Americans, including those living in the Rust Belt and Appalachia who voted for Trump, by creating a shortage of highly skilled doctors immigrating to the United States. According to a recent study by graduate economic students at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there are more than 7,000 physicians from the six banned countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen working throughout the U.S. Indeed 94 percent of Americans live in a community with at least one physician from a banned country.

These physicians provide critical medical care in hard-hit areas where many American-born physicians are reluctant to live and work. In many of these places, hospitals rely on immigrant physicians to fill critical vacancies. These physicians deliver babies, treat diabetes, and perform surgeries.

The areas that benefit most from physicians from the banned nations are located in the Rust Belt and Appalachia, especially in Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky. Four of the top five cities with the highest share of physicians from the banned countries are also located in the Rust Belt — Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Dayton.

The Trump administration’s decision to defend Muslim Ban 2.0 in court comes at a time when Republican lawmakers in Congress are pursuing a repeal of the ACA. According to the Congressional Budget Office, up to 24 million Americans are at risk of losing their health insurance if Congress repeals the ACA with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Moreover, residents of rural, low-income communities will be hardest hit by the ACA repeal. In nearly 1,500 counties nationwide, older residents with annual incomes of $30,000 stand to lose more than $6,000 a year in federal insurance subsidies under the AHCA. Of those counties, 90 percent voted for Donald Trump.

The combined effects of Muslim Ban 2.0 and the ACA repeal would have a devastating impact on the health of Americans in the hardest hit regions of the country. We cannot afford to implement policies that, according to the government’s own assessments, do nothing to improve our safety while simultaneously putting Americans’ health in danger. That’s why the ACLU will continue to fight both Muslim Ban 2.0 and the ACA repeal. The health of millions depends on it.

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There are several members of my family [including me] who are only alive today because of the skill and compassion of immigrant Muslim doctors.

Michael Stepner

Hi (((anonymous))), I'm one of the economists who worked on the Immigrant Doctors Project that is cited by this blog post. I'm so glad to hear that you and your family got the care you need from these talented physicians.

We're collecting stories like yours at our website, and if you'd like to share yours with us, we'd love to hear it: https://immigrantdoctors.org/sharestory/

We only use the stories in the ways that you explicitly give us permission to.

Parker Chadwell

While the ban is an overreaction, the courts' ruling against it has created a further overreaction. If court decisions are now able to be shaped by judges' opinions of politicians' personal motives at that moment, wouldn't it make sense that politicians would have all the more incentive to select friendly judges? The SCOTUS is already a political prize, and with this precedent, it may become even more so.


I was once one of these students who attended a top tier school... and didn't by way of example, know that filet mignon was an expensive cut of beef and not a fancy fish filet. Coming from an impoverished background not only puts one at an economic disadvantage relative to their peers who use http://thetermpapers.net but sets one up to be repeatedly embarrassed as they attempt to learn the cultural literacy of the middle and upper classes. If supplementing their income along with tuition would make their transition smoother and a bit less painful I for one am all for it and will happily pay some of my current upper tier income to any college that recognizes this need.


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