Public Charge in the Time of Coronavirus

Levy Economics Institute, Working Papers Series No. 950 (2020)

16 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2020

See all articles by Martha Tepepa

Martha Tepepa

Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

Date Written: April 8, 2020

Abstract

The United States government recently passed legislation and stabilization packages to respond to the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak by providing paid sick leave, tax credits, and free virus testing; expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits; and increasing Medicaid funding. However, the response to the global pandemic might be hindered by the lassitude of the state and the administration’s conception of social policy that leaves the most vulnerable unprotected. The administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration campaign poses public health challenges, especially in the prevention of communicable diseases. In addition to the systemic obstacles noncitizens face in their access to healthcare, recent changes to immigration law that penalize recipients of some social services on grounds that they are a public charge will further restrict their access to treatment and hinder the fight against the pandemic.

Keywords: Public Charge, Public Services, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Social Policy, State, Means Testing, Public Assistance, Welfare Policy, Free Rider

JEL Classification: H4, H550, H570, H750, H840, I380, O15, O510, Z180

Suggested Citation

Tepepa, Martha, Public Charge in the Time of Coronavirus (April 8, 2020). Levy Economics Institute, Working Papers Series No. 950 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3571721 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3571721

Martha Tepepa (Contact Author)

Levy Economics Institute of Bard College ( email )

Blithewood
Annandale, NY 12504
8457587776 (Phone)
8457581149 (Fax)

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