The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and 21 other health care organizations on Monday filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing against President Trump's executive order banning the issuance of new visas for 90 days to individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The ban would affect thousands of travelers coming to the United States to see family, attend school, and work in high-demand fields—including health care. AAMC in March said about 500 people had applied for medical residency in the United States from the six nations and could be directly affected by the order's 90-day ban. The order also would suspend refugee entry from all countries for 120 days.
Multiple courts have issued rulings blocking the ban from taking effect, but the administration has asked the Supreme Court to review those rulings.
Amicus brief details
In the amicus brief, the health care organizations argued that foreign-born health care professionals are vital to patient care and research and that the executive order would undermine the health security of the nation.
AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch in a statement said, "For decades, health professionals from other countries have filled critical gaps in the physician workforce, especially in rural and other medically underserved communities," adding, "Suspending entry of highly talented and skilled medical and research professionals into the United States on the basis of their nationalities would ultimately undermine the health security of our nation, especially as we face a looming physician shortage. When we close our borders to highly skilled health professionals, we also are closing them to collaboration, discovery, and better national and global health."
In addition to AAMC, the brief was signed by the:
- American Academy of Family Physicians;
- American Academy of Pediatrics;
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing;
- American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy;
- American College of Healthcare Executives;
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists;
- American College of Physicians;
- American Dental Education Association;
- American Nurses Association;
- American Psychiatric Association;
- American Public Health Association;
- Association of Academic Health Centers;
- Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health;
- Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions;
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration;
- Greater New York Hospital Association;
- Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools;
- National Medical Association;
- National Resident Matching Program;
- Physician Assistant Education Association; and
- Society of General Internal Medicine.
Legal briefs argue case could be moot
In legal briefs also filed Monday, lawyers challenging the executive order urged the Supreme Court to decline to hear DOJ's appeal, noting that a ruling by the 9th Circuit appeals court could make the case moot as of Wednesday, the New York Times reports.
While the 9th Circuit on Monday upheld the portion of the lower court's ruling that blocked the executive order from taking effect, it overturned a part of the lower court ruling that barred the administration from conducting internal reviews of its vetting procedures while the case was underway. According to the Times, the executive order suspended travel for individuals from the six countries for 90 days to give the administration time to conduct the internal review.
In their brief, lawyers challenging the case noted that if counted from the date the order was signed, the 90-day period ends Wednesday, meaning the ban would no longer be in effect. The administration has argued that the lower court's ruling stopped the clock. It has asked the Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit decision before the Supreme Court's summer break and to schedule arguments for fall. However, lawyers in the case brought by Hawaii argued that under either scenario the 90-day period would likely be up. "It would be unnecessary and wasteful for the court to grant review of an issue that is essentially moot," they wrote (Liptak, New York Times, 6/12; Rappleye, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/12; Gomez/Wolf , USA Today, 6/12; Gomez/Wolf , USA Today, 6/12).
12 things CEOs need to know in 2017
The continued growth of the consumer-driven health care market threatens the durability of patient-provider relationships—and, at the same time, the push toward population health management and risk-based payment is greater than ever.
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