• Enforcing Public Charge
    Rule Endangers Public Health 

    Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020

    Statement attributable to:
    Gary L. LeRoy, MD
    American Academy of Family Physicians 

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians is concerned that the Department of Homeland Security is moving forward with enforcement of the public charge rule amid a public health emergency and global pandemic. The revised public charge rule fundamentally alters our immigration process to be based on economic factors and financial needs instead of the merits of an individual’s request for legal status.

    “Due to enforcement of this rule, patients may be less likely to seek needed health care which jeopardizes their own health and that of their community. Further, by not seeking care, patients are likely to experience more complex health challenges. This is especially dangerous during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians again urges the administration and the Department of Homeland Security to rescind the public charge final rule and work with us to ensure broader access, improved quality and more affordable care to help build resilient communities with healthy families.”

    Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. LeRoy, contact Megan Moriarty, 913-302-8627, or mmoriarty@aafp.org.


    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org