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August 19, 2009

Illegal immigrants and health care reform

And you thought the uproar over "death panels" had reached a fever pitch. Well, here's another topic making the heated rounds in the health care reform brawls: Should illegal immigrants be eligible for coverage?

First off, none of the plans currently in Congress include illegal immigrants. President Obama and Nancy Pelosi have made a point of underscoring this lately. In fact, up until the town halls got ugly in recent weeks, no one in Congress was even talking about health insurance for illegal immigrants. That hasn't stopped angry opponents from asserting all sorts of false claims -- free insurance to non-citizens, among them. (PolitiFact debunks a that claim, for the record.)

It also hasn't stopped immigrant advocates from asking -- wait a second, what about us?

There's a moral obligation to provide access to health coverage to all Americans, regardless of their immigration status, they say. Any plan that excludes illegal immigrants will fall short, says the advocacy group the National Council of La Raza, considering that illegal immigrants account for 15 percent -- nearly 7 million -- of the nation's 47 million uninsured. But proponents of strict immigration enforcement counter that providing insurance would only encourage more immigrants to flock here illegally.

Thing is, just how much illegal immigrants cost the health care system is unknown and therefore, up for debate. Nearly half the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants don't have health insurance, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a non-partisan think tank.

Some groups claim this means they are more likely to jam hospital emergency rooms -- which by law can't turn anyone away -- ratcheting up health care costs even higher. But others insist illegal immigrants are actually less likely to clog emergency rooms and have lower health care costs than U.S. citizens.

What is clear is no elected official is likely to touch the incendiary issue, if they can help it. Before coming to the health beat, I covered immigration for eight years. I can think of no other issue that's sure to spark a backlash for politicians already under heavy scrutiny by voters. Couple that with health care reform and oh man, go grab yourself some popcorn and get ready for the drama.

photo from stock.xchng

Posted by Kelly Brewington at 7:00 AM | | Comments (40)
Categories: Health care reform
        

Comments

I've read that illegals will be eligible for healthcare under the house bills in at least two ways. First, certain services will not require verification (like other government benefits) so anyone will be able to access those. Representative Smith of Texas claims that an amendment was offered to close that loophole and was rejected -- seemingly proving that there is intent to cover illegals. Second, some interpreters of the bills believe that families of a legal citizen will be given access regardless of status. This seems to be another easy loophole. I've clicked through on the links above and there is nothing to contradict these points. In all the reading I've been able to do so far, bill advocates do not address loopholes at all. Perhaps with more articles and discussion, we will see some debate on this point as well. I'd like that!

Not all NON-citizens are illegal immigrants. In fact, there are many categories of NON citizens who are legally in this country, i.e., premanent residents, work-visa, student visa holders, etc. Again, for accuracy and clarity's sake, please, please understand that you can be a NON citizen and still legally in this country. When will Americans learn that?

The bill is vague. You know what that means, right? It means it leaves the door wide open. Once enacted, it's open to interpretation by the healthcare officials implementing the policy. Once implemented, I believe immigrants will be included.

Plus, immigration reform is next on the agenda after healthcare. You have to consider those ramifications as well.

I work with the chronic disease of addiction, and dispelling myths are important. Each time, supporters of the public option try to dispell myths, they get confronted with the realities that the public option creates.

As a healthcare professional that strongly opposes the public option, I have been thoroughly entertained by the drubbing supporters of the public option have taken.

Where does the health care bill expressly exclude illegal aliens? What section and line number?

Most of us realize if the law does not state clearly, then some judge will come along and give the service to illegal aliens. That's why we are educating them right now in public schools and receiving other public benefits that were never intened for foreign nationals. Some judge gave it to them

Please, 18% of all American children are living in poverty(13 million kids), 15 million American workers are looking for jobs to feed and shelter their families and 140,000 American veterans will be homeless tonight. No health coverage for any illegal alien! We're not able to take care of our own citizens and we certainly can't take care of those who overstay visas and steal across our borders. The 1986 amnesty was a total failure! Never again!

CheshireCat:

As its currently written, one of the house bills -- HR 3200 -- bars coverage for illegal immigrants in section 246. It prohibits “Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”

http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090714/aahca.pdf

Meanwhile, critics say they are concerned about how this would be enforced. This is argued of many other government benefits that exclude illegal immigrants.

So, Kelly,

What is the definition of "is?"

Remember, Slick Willie's famous lines.

How do you interpret "not lawfully present?"

Just look at "gray zoning" folks in need of mental health benefits. I've seen many interpretations of who's eligible for that; it just depended on the interpretation of the program providing services.

Bottomline is this. We don't trust the government or people like you that force government run healthcare on us.

Trust is key. YOU DON'T HAVE IT!!!

Of course illegal aliens are included. They are going to get amnesty then will be covered. Dems are too sneaky.

Yet, another red herring by the right-wing conservatives thrown out there to distract us from the real issues. Remember the "death panels?" they are so last week, I know! It's amazing how easy it is for the right wing to manipulate the masses, who are too lazy to read the bill. Just read the bill. The same strategy was employed very successfully by Karl Rove in 2004 in the reelection of Bush--he put gay marriage on the ballot in certain swing states--again a distraction from the real issues!

If, as supporters of this legislation claim, it doesn't cover illegal aliens, then why not put an end to the debate and simply include a requirement that immigration status be verified in order to receive insurance? We already know that we have laws that supposedly limit illegal aliens from working or receiving public benefits, but somehow they still do--and Congress refuses to implement eVerify to check legal status. So why should we trust them on THIS issue either?

Of course the illegal immigrants issue is still being flung around by the right wing, despite the fact that it's a complete and total lie, just like Death Panels, Euthanasia and on and on...

The Republican party needs to play to the prejudices of its racists (one of its few constituent groups that haven't jumped ship) in order to have any sort of momentum in its message. This isn't exactly news.

Lawbreaking is not a race or even an ethnicity. Lawbreaking illegal aliens are black, white, brown, red and yellow. The ONLY thing they have in common with one another is disrespect for our laws and willingness to break those laws, and this holds true for the creeps that employ them.

Patapsco Jones wrote:Of course the illegal immigrants issue is still being flung around by the right wing, despite the fact that it's a complete and total lie, just like Death Panels, Euthanasia and on and on...

The Republican party needs to play to the prejudices of its racists (one of its few constituent groups that haven't jumped ship) in order to have any sort of momentum in its message. This isn't exactly news.
________________
Patapsco, I'm a lifelong DEMOCRAT and I don't trust this Administration not to enable illegal aliens to collect benefits anymore than I trusted Bush's. Take a look at Pres. Obama's Aunt Zeituni, now ensconced (again) in subsidized housing in Boston while she awaits yet another deportation hearing. And who's paying for HER healthcare? I'd have a lot more faith in this bill if I didn't know that unless rules are enforced, illegal aliens will get benefits they shouldn't. They already do.

who is slick willie....MAY I ASK????

Slick Willie is my favorite Democrat president ever---Bill Clinton. After the defeat of Hillarycare, he jumped center right with welfare reform, balanced budget, and support of NAFTA.

This isn't racism Patapsco. Talk about desperate tactics and red herrings. Those racism claims are desperate attempts to change the subject. I'm starting to take them as compliments though since it shows the desperation on your side of the debate.
:-)

It's regular Americans questioning how FISCALLY solvent this bill would be. That's all.

If medicare, medicaid, and SSI are bankrupt, why are we adding another entitlement. Let's fix those programs, then you we'll listen to what you have to say. Show us that the current entitlements can work. It's not asking much.

I am a medical doctor. In our hospital, we admit illegal immigrants every day from the Emergency Dept.. It is illegal to refuse to see a patient in the ER. It is also illegal to transfer a patient to any other site, who needs any type of medical treatment, for financial reasons (EMTALA).

So, no matter what your legislators tell you, illegal immigrants will continue to receive free healthcare under any system in the US.

When we admit illegal immigrants to the hospital, there is no expectation that they will pay for their care. The social workers rush to sign them up for Medicaid as quickly as possible, as the hospital receives no payment otherwise.The doctors care for them completely for free.

In contrast, any legal resident ( immigrant or not) is responsible for paying for their care. They are sent bills, sent to collections, etc..This is often financially devastating to the patients.

Illegal aliens are getting health care now, and this has to stop!

Illegal aliens have made America the dumping ground for all their illegal alien children, then we have to school them and give them free medical care.

I for one, am sick and tired of these ILLEGAL ALIENS snubbing their nose at our immigration laws and the many other laws of this Country. If our Federal Government can not ENFORCE our immigration laws, and get these ILLEGAL ALIENS out of this Country, then let the States do it! One way or another, an end has to come to this illegal immigration, and not with AMNESTY! Amnesty will only encourage more ILLEGAL ALIENS to invade our Country and reward those who broke our laws and raped the American taxpayer in many ways...depressing our wages, taking our jobs, overwhelming our schools with their ILLEGAL ALIEN children, driving without a license or car insurance, all the crime from stolen identities to rape, drugs and everything else.

Did anyone read this story. There are many like it. Hospitals going out of business because of the illegal aliens.

http://www.lvrj.com/news/53343302.html#blogcomments?submitted=y

Get rid of the illegal aliens and we get rid of all the problems that go with them. THAT IS A FACT!

The La Raza Open Borders Crowd have made Illegal Aliens
The Chosen People ! They are foot
soldiers in the demographic attack against the USA
and part of Mexico's Agenda to create
an Illegal Insurgent Mexican Nation
of more than 20 million plus
within the borders of the USA.
They get healthcare,prenatal care,
welfare,education,etc, free and U.S.
Laws do not apply to them.

It's healthcare vs. health insurance. Wether we have a public option for health insurance or let the private sector run it - we all will still have to pay in some way. Insurance companies dictate what will be covered and what physcians and hospitals get for our care. Some of them are making a profit. There are people dieing of cancer now because they don't have adequate health insurance, don't qualify for medicaid or medicare and have no money to pay. That has got to stop. No matter what your 'status' is, when you walk into an ER ill - you're taken care of. We need to change the way we look at healthcare and figure out how WE are going to pay for it. Because in the end We will be paying (that means all of us).

We seem to be letting fear and prejudice get in the way of reasoning. Who do we trust the government (we elect them) or private insurance companies (we don't control).

The classy "Ballz" Mahoney writes:

"This isn't racism Patapsco. Talk about desperate tactics and red herrings. Those racism claims are desperate attempts to change the subject."

The subject is being changed, in desperation, by right wingers like you from a vitally important issue like health care to the racially charged issue of illegal immigration. Two totally unrelated policies which right wingers dishonestly conflate in order to try and scare people even more away from real change. Just like the Kill Granny and Euthanasia scare tactics. If you can't see the true desperation on the right in this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to trying to frighten the electorate -complete with Obama as Hitler posters - then you're as blind as you are intellectually challenged.

The bill that will eventually come out of this health care debate will be balanced or the President will not sign it. He has pledged this again and again, but people like you continue with your broken record arguments. Perhaps you're as deaf as you are intellectually challenged as well. In which case you really should be all for health reform seeing how fast care costs are skyrocketing in this country with the private sector left to its own greedy devices.

Illegal immigrants should absolutely NOT get access to health care benefits. WHY? Because they broke the law to come to the U.S. and they are NOT U.S. CITIZENS!!!! Let Mexico, or what ever latin country they are from fit the bill for their health costs. After all they are foreign nationals, right? For the next big screw by our government, look out for amnesties in which to make the millions of illegal hispanic aliens Citizens, then the plan they are putting into place will work for the current illegal alien populous. Get it. Fellow Patriots speak up and make our government secure our borders and enforce our nation's immigration laws!!!!!!!! Or you will wake up one day and press 1 for spanish and 2 for english.

I agree with Obama in every section of his Health Care Reformation proposal. The ideas of promoting lower costs and computerize the system sound very catchy. However I strongly disagree with it on reduce senior's benefits and on the other hand give it to illegal immigrants, i was WHAT? We've been kind enough, not anymore and not at this stake of our economy.

No illegals would be covered under any of the bills around. These myths are being propagated by those opposed to any bill.

I don't care if people "believe" illegals will be covered, the fact is they won't, so move on.

No illegals would be covered under any of the bills around. These myths are being propagated by those opposed to any bill.

I don't care if people "believe" illegals will be covered, the fact is they won't, so move on.
---------------
The fact is, illegal aliens will get whatever services the government allows them to, whether it's the law or not. Particularly if enforcement of the law is not mandated and not enabled. This administration, for example, has delayed implementing eVerify to verify workers' immigration status, despite the fact that more than 14 million Americans are out of work and there are millions of illegal aliens still in this country doing jobs Americans could and would do if they provided a decent wage.

The fact is, the law says illegal aliens shouldn't even be in this country. They are.

The fact is, the law says they shouldn't be working. They are.

The fact is, the law says that they should not get in-state tuition unless it's provided to citizens regardless of residency. Illegal aliens get in-state tuition in 10 states, but citizens don't.

The fact is, illegal aliens are only supposed to get "emergency" services. However, you get numerous cases of illegal aliens getting transplants or prolonged custodial hospital stays for non emergency conditions.

The fact is, "sanctuary" is against federal law, but you have localities such as Los Angeles which has Special Order 40 providing sanctuary and cities such as San Francisco not only providing sanctuary, but paying for illegal alien drug pushers to get rehab.

I am, by the way, one of the many Democrats who oppose amnesty and benefits to illegal aliens.

Obama was asked if universal healthcare will cover illegal aliens. He said of course not, and then added that we will not have illegal aliens in the country. That is the next reform.
So, mass deportation or amnesty. Which is on his mind?

"President Barack Obama said he would be okay with illegal immigrants being treated in emergency rooms in some situations under his health care plan."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/08/20/obama_basic_standard_of_decency_allows_illegals_to_be_treated.html

Obama would allow illegals to be treated.

He said it himself----

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/08/20/obama_basic_standard_of_decency_allows_illegals_to_be_treated.html

Obama keeps getting a free pass on his "illegal aliens are not covered" lie.

Illegal aliens can be covered because democrats refuse to ask for "citizenship" when applying for health care.

Democrats recently defeated the Heller amendment in the House Bill that would have enforced a citizenship requirement for health care benefits.

The reason we have 12 - 20 million illegal aliens here is because they refused to enforce our immigration laws and now they are attempting to make it even worse.

There are 6 billion other people in the world that need health care far more than the illegal aliens who came here illegally, steal our IDs and ignore our laws. Give these honest and decent 6 billion people a chance for citizenship and healthcare.

Those who come here illegally, steal our IDs and ignore our laws have already demonstrated they lack the honesty and decency to ever become American citizens.

a.) Enforce the existing immigration laws.
b.) Secure the border.
c.) Don't hire illegal aliens.
d.) No anchor babies.
e.) Deportation through attrition.

When will you MORONS STOP BLAMING YOUR OWN FAILURES ON THE POOR MIGRANTS.
GO TO THE MIRROR AND SLAP HARD THE PERSON YOU SEE, GET IT??
Now about the undocumented immigrants, they pay taxes more than you think. their taxes are withheld by their employer, they pay Federal, State and Social Security, they pay TAXES on FOOD, GAS, CLOTHES, TOLL,RENT,SHOES, CIGARETTES, APPLIANCES LIKE EVERY OTHER PERSON, SO STOP YOUR MORONIC HATEFUL LINE OF THINK AND START THINKING LIKE A CHILD OF GOD, FOR ALL ARE GODS CHILDREN.


As a Canadian who grew up in the UK I would like to correct some of the erroneous information being passed around about the Canadian health care system.

First and foremost our government at present is certainly not Socialist and if anything is closer to the Right Wing of your Republican Party.

I am a senior who over the years has had cancer surgery, hernia surgery, carpal tunnel, gall bladder and this past summer had elective reconstructive surgery on my thumb. I did not have to pay for any of these surgeries. I chose my doctor and surgeon. With the cancer surgery I debated getting a second opinion and the surgeon who performed the biopsy was only too happy to set up an appointment for me with a surgeon in a city nearby. However I chose to go with my first surgeon because she said that she could perform the total hysterectomy the following Monday. From being informed re a malignancy and the actual operation it was probably less than a month. I have been cancer free for nine years. I have never had to wait very long for X-rays and I have had my choice of a doctor.

My father had Glaucoma and Parkinson’s and my mother had Type 2 Diabetes and Lung Cancer, which metastasized onto her spine. I cannot tell you the number of times that I had to take them up to the Emergency Room at our local hospital and there was never any question about medical insurance or coverage. We pay out a small amount into our provincial health care systems but this covers our treatments. No one is turned away.

There will obviously be some waits, some treatments that are not possible to do in Canada but we also have American patients who come up to some of our Canadian hospitals to receive specialised treatments that they could not receive easily in the US.

Also for those who accuse Britain of committing Euthanasia I wish that you would do your research and get your facts straight because this is utter nonsense and by the way the scientist, Stephen Hawkins is British.

This is too important a subject to be subjected to lies and manipulation by people who are more concerned about their own financial rewards than for their fellow human beings.

The day you turn on your TV and see a mass round-up of executives being jailed for hiring illegals is day the the immigration problem begins to end. As long as people are hiring them they will continue to come over.

This ruckus about illegals and the health care plan is just a smooth,Rove-like way to inject some racism into the mix.

Let's adopt North Korea's illgal immigration plan (treaspassing - 12 years of hard labor) and see just how attractive sneaking into American and stealing jobs, identities, SS numbers, social services is.

America is too soft on illegal immigration. Much like our kids since the government plays a major role in how parents are to raise them, they have no fear, there are no consequences for their actions, there is no reason to behave IAW with the law. What's the worst? A plane ride or bus ride home? Oh gee how can they stand that? What horrible punishment. Must take at least a week to walk across the San Diego border back to Obamaland.

Crack down on all aspects of illegal immigration. Quit subsidizing Mexico's drug problem until their government quits dumping their poor onto the backs of American citizens. This just has to stop. No health care for illegals. Harsh yes? Deserving of their behavior? yes.

If Obama wants an honest debate like he says he does, then Obama must also tell the truth. The answer is YES illegal immigrants can and will receive FREE HEALTH CARE from your tax dollars. Here is how. . . . Right now there is no verification process in place to determine if a person is a citizen of the United States. A verification process was voted down in congress!!! So the answer is YES, illegal immigrants will receive free health care!!!

Posted by: Patapsco Jones

The subject is being changed, in desperation, by right wingers like you from a vitally important issue like health care to the racially charged issue of illegal immigration. Two totally unrelated policies which right wingers dishonestly conflate in order to try and scare people even more away from real change. Just like the Kill Granny and Euthanasia scare tactics. If you can't see the true desperation on the right in this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to trying to frighten the electorate -complete with Obama as Hitler posters - then you're as blind as you are intellectually challenged.

The bill that will eventually come out of this health care debate will be balanced or the President will not sign it. He has pledged this again and again, but people like you continue with your broken record arguments. Perhaps you're as deaf as you are intellectually challenged as well. In which case you really should be all for health reform seeing how fast care costs are skyrocketing in this country with the private sector left to its own greedy devices.

===============================
I first have to congratulate you on making yet another failed attempt with pulling the race card to push your political propaganda. You see, this got old during the campaign trail when Obama did it to Hilary and then to McCain.

Question Obama's lack of experience or qualifications-you are racist.

Question his criminal and/or corrupt friends-you are a racist.

Question why he acted stupidly for 20 yrs in the racist church of Rev Wright-you are racist....

I think you get my point---people are begining to not care about the race card anymore, in fact they look at this as a clue Obama and his ilk are losing the battle!

I would, of course be careful with that card-it is like the "little boy who cried wolf", you falsly cry wolf too many times that when the wolf finally appears, no one will pay any mind to you!

Now, drawing attention to the FACT that not only do we currently have 12-15 million illegal aliens in this country, but the FACTS they do in FACT receive medical treatment at the tax payers expense despite what Pelosi and Obama tell you.

Why do YOU suppose illegal aliens will not be covered under this bill?

I ask because two week before the August break I was having a nerdy moment and felt the need to watch CSPAN so that I Could hear first hand what was going on. A Republican devised and submitted an amendments that would put an end to the loop hole that would allow illegal aliens access to our health care----I believe it was Waxman's committee that shot it down with an almost party line vote. A few democrats agreed the amendment as necessary.

Then we have the fact that they currently receive welfare, medicaid, medicare, housing assistance, job assistance and education, which by law they are not suppose to receive.

Of course, this is mainly in California that all of this public ILLEGAL assistance if given to them because you see, if the illega aliens are allowed to be counted in the Census, which they will be if Acorn heads it-California will gain approximatly 9 more seats in the house because of representation laws......geeee, there is big shocker!!!!!
As for the Presidents "pledge"; please tell me one thing that he pledged to do during the campaign trail that he is doing now aside dramatically changing America with his:

appointments of multiple tax evaders to high ranking positions and those with ethics complaints,

appointing now 35 Czars to which only 6 are accountable to COngress the rest only to him,

the failed stimulus package that was a must pass scare tactic that did not work for its intendted purpose of creating jobs ASAP,

the cap and trade disaster that will cost more jobs and do NOTHING for anyone other than those who already have money,

the cash for clunkers joke that momentarily brought a push to the auto industry but sold more FOREIGN cars than it did domestic and where dealers are still waiting to be paid by the government,

to the total lack of transparency that not only he "pledged" but that was basically showered onto the public every waking hour of every day along with monitoring those pesky ear marks.

I think the $16 million to save a friggin rat for Pelosi or $4 million for a turtle crossing speaks VOLUMES!

Disageeing withing someone or their policies is NOT racism anymore than calling out illegal aliens as law breakers is racism.

I am curious-for those who opposed Bush and his policies, were they too racists? For those who are black, hispanic, Asian, etc..etc.. and who oppose Obama and his policies are they too racist?

First E-Verify is the answer to our employers. Lawmakers don't like that as it may cut their bonus. Second enforce the law. These are illegals in our country no matter what some want to call them.They deserve nothing from America. Like it or not most of us stand against it and like the health care it will be dangerous to approve it as many politicians will lose their jobs. Do not stop protesting. The communist club of LaRaza isn't.

The concern is illegal immigrants. The illegals walked in the back door while no one was looking. They did not have any passports or documents when they entered this country. No cutting. If they want to be covered go back @ the end of the line and do it the right way. Cres B W

Want to know where to find the illegal health care reform coverage? Check out HR3200 p.50
Sect: 152. it says no discrimination. Joe Wilson was not respectful. He did not have to be rude to make his point. Go to Snopes.com and find the links on the above topcis.Call your congressman or senator. Ask them to explain this what it means. I wrote my congressman ,representative
Dianne Feinstein and Barbara boxer to explain the article . I did not receive any answer. HR is their baby. Call their offices as well.The president's school speech was excellent. The HR reform was excellent , too. I don't like what were written under those articles that we do not see and understand.CBW

Can anyone explain how Pelosi is ethically allowed to vote on laws affecting wine profits, prohibiting minimum wage raises for illegal workers and refuses to tax the countries they came from? SHe employs IAs. This is not just a conflict of interest, it's downright criminal. What would her tax records show if she reprorted her true profits and costs?

Our government is a joke - havent you guys figured this out by now? Hopefully now with the elections completed we can get this country's agenda back to normal.

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.
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