POLITICO's Pulse Check

When immigration and health care collide, with Mark Greenberg and Scott Lloyd

Episode Summary

A former Obama appointee warns about a new plan to link immigration and health insurance. A former Trump appointee discusses his role after the family-separation policy took effect.

Episode Notes

President Donald Trump has repeatedly relied on HHS to help carry out his sweeping immigration agenda, and a new order that would limit visas to people who aren't "health care burdens" could be the latest dramatic change.

Mark Greenberg, who served as the acting assistant secretary for children and families during the Obama administration, sits down with POLITICO's Dan Diamond to discuss HHS' role in immigration and why he's so worried about Trump's recent order (starts at the 6:00 mark).

Then Scott Lloyd, the Trump appointee who led the HHS refugee office, joins Dan to discuss his experience after the administration began separating migrant families and thousands of children ended up in his office's custody (starts at the 25:45 mark).


The Migration Policy Institute predicted that Trump's recent proclamation linking health care and insurance could block as many as two-thirds of green card applicants.

Career health officials have raised concerns that Trump's latest order on immigration and health care could be illegal.

Watchdogs like GAO and the HHS inspector general have found that family separations began months before the Trump administration officially announced the policy.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar emerged as the face of the family-separation crisis last summer, even though HHS didn't lead the policy.

House Democrats and watchdog groups have pressed Lloyd over his decisions and testimony.