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Entitled to NothingThe Struggle for Immigrant Health Care in the Age of Welfare Reform$
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Lisa Sun-Hee Park

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814768013

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814768013.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2019

The Politics of Public Charge

The Politics of Public Charge

(p.54) Chapter 3 The Politics of Public Charge
Entitled to Nothing

Lisa Sun-Hee Park

NYU Press

This chapter investigates the impact of public charge fears on low-income pregnant immigrant women's access to Medi-Cal. It begins with a more detailed discussion of the Medicaid fraud detection programs established at the Mexico–U.S. border, and later at the Los Angeles and San Francisco International airports, to illustrate the extensive and complex influence of policy on an everyday level. Of particular significance is the impact—or lack thereof—of government efforts to backtrack or “clarify” their mistakes (i.e., unintended consequences). Two case studies are examined in this light: a lawsuit brought against the State Department of Health Services regarding its handling of fraud detection programs at the border, and a state audit of a specific fraud detection program aimed at documented, low-income immigrants. These cases show that federal policies have little room for error, given these policies' actual consequences on people's everyday lives.

Keywords:   public charge, low-income women, pregnant immigrant women, Medi-Cal, Medicaid fraud detection programs, federal policies, low-income immigrants

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