Immigration and Health Care - What Do We REALLY Want?

@anniepa (26069)
United States
November 18, 2009 8:18pm CST
These are two very contentious issues by themselves but when you put them together they become downright explosive! Explosive to the point where a supposedly rational member of Congress feels compelled to totally break from protocol to shout "You LIE!" to the POTUS as he addressed the Joint Sessions of Congress! You can read an interesting article on this issue here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/15/AR2009111502625.html I guess I was naive in the beginning to think a simple statement like "Illegal immigrants will not be eligible for subsidies or any other government funded health care" would be sufficient. Obviously, at least to some Americans and enough members of Congress to make a difference, it's not NEARLY enough. But, WHAT SHOULD BE DONE? Illegal immigration is a troublesome issue, no question about it and not one which I wish to get into too much here. The bottom line is there are however many million illegals here and we're not likely to get "get rid of them" anytime soon and health care reform is HOPEFULLY going to happen before the immigration issue is settled. So, seriously, what should we do? Clearly, allowing people who are here illegally to obtain health insurance through any public option wouldn't fly. I get that. IF there is a health care bill passed and signed into law that includes a public option or government subsidies to help people pay for their health care or insurance it should have to be absolutely proven that the recipients are here legally. Beyond that, what should happen? Personally, I'd have no problem with anyone purchasing their own insurance from an "exchange" or whatever they come up with. The only "government benefit" they be getting would be the benefit of getting it at a hopefully lower premium than buying their own as an individual from a private company. Let's face it, if they remain uncovered they're going to end up going to their local ER when they get sick...sicker than they'd be if they could have a regular primary care physician. If they "can't afford" insurance or to pay for a regular doctor's visit they're sure as heck not going to be able to afford the much higher ER charges. Therefore, we're back to square one, at least with quite a large chunk of the population; the rest of us will be paying for those who can't pay. Of course, we COULD revise our laws so illegal immigrants aren't given care in our ERs, but does anyone REALLY have the stomach for that?. Even those of you who could do that to an illegal, what about the "collaterol damage" there would surely be? I mean, what would happen, would anyone who may "look" like an immigrant have to make sure and take all their documentation with them to the ER, even if they're taken by ambulance? Would it then be acceptable for some natural born Americans even to "fall through the cracks" because they couldn't "prove their worthiness" of life-saving treatment? What do you think? If you were in complete control of this issue, if you were "the decider", what would YOU do? Annie
4 responses
• United States
19 Nov 09
Well to be honest if I were in control this bill would not be passing. But that is just because I have a different idea on what needs to done to fix healthcare. It does need to be fixed...but so far I am not happy with the plans that our government has come up with. It has not gone up for a vote yet so there maybe time to fix it. But besides that....No illegals should not be able to get healthcare insurance in this country. They should not be able to get a job, they should not be able to rent a place to live. They are not US citizens. They are not covered under our constitution. THey dont have any rights. They are criminals. Maybe if we made it just about impossible for them to have a functional life here they would leave and go home and the rest of htem would stop coming here. And yes I am ok with making those hard decisions.
3 people like this
@anniepa (26069)
• United States
19 Nov 09
"...No illegals should not be able to get healthcare insurance in this country. They should not be able to get a job, they should not be able to rent a place to live. They are not US citizens." Fine, but the problem is they ARE getting jobs and they ARE finding places to live. I've said all along the most important thing to do about illegal immigration is to start clamping down on all the employers who are hiring them. Anyway, I'm getting off-topic since what I was interested in knowing was how everyone felt about immigrants when it comes to health care. You said they shouldn't be allowed to get insurance, in fact you simply said "insurance" so I'm assuming you don't even think they should be allowed to purchase an insurance policy on their own from a private company even if they could afford the outrageous premiums. You didn't say what should happen to them when they become sick. Annie
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
19 Nov 09
Hmm. I'm full of idealistic wonder. However, I'm not a policy maker and do not and could not fully know the exact details of every situation or of the unintended consequences of what I think is best, simply because it's not all about what I want and what I believe. The idea of "socialism/social justice" aside, this country, although supposedly placing an extremely strong emphasis on personal freedom and responsibility, isn't quite so grand as long as people are outright indigent. I'm a child of the 80s and don't know much about the day-to-day life of any period previous, especially centuries past when our Constitution was created. To that end, I do beleive, in a small sense, our founding papers are living, breathing, ammendable works that need to evolve and need to be interpreted within the boundaries of the context in order for government to effectively run the country. So when it comes to the government "providing" for the truly less fortunate among us, I'm not necessarily against that. What I'm against, however, is the government acting, basically, as a redistributive body. If government has power to take and give, common sense--logic!--suggests that they will do so by preference and not necessarily by need. When they talk about great change and fixing things and improving people's lives, this is where I truly and wholeheartedly believe that the more liberalist, progressive approach is fundamentally flawed at its very core. We have a whole hell of a lot in America that needs to be fixed. "Giving" to people is a failed idea, because, in order to "give" to one, you must take from another. My idea of "hope" and "change" is to work in reverse here, so to speak. Instead of going around the country, singling out the less fortunate and saying, "we will provide for you," an effective government could work to help people create more personal wealth. An effective government could work to do away with corruption and union interests and other special interests. An effective government doesn't need to spend $300,000 to create a job that pays $50,000. That's a collsasal amount of waste -- and I believe a lot of fraud as well. And this goes for government giving anyone an "option" of healthcare. Okay, so someone's life is saved. That's great news. But can we expect billions more in waste and fraud per year for this to happen? That's what I don't have the stomach for. Here's the way I see the whole immigrant/healthcare thing, as simplistic as it may be. (If someone has read my ranting to this point, I appreciate it ) Let's say that government FINALLY got its act together and cleaned up all the fraud and all the waste in Medicare/aid and other places where they're grossly negligent and outright criminal in their oversight and implementation. Let's say they also reigned in the greedy bloodsuckers in the private industry with IMPARTIAL regulations, and then opened up private insurance to compete nationwide, thus dropping the price of plans. These things are pretty big ifs, but if these two things happened, we're talking about billions upon billions of dollars in taxpayer money saved and spent in more effective ways, and also far cheaper policies so more could afford them and fairer private practices so more people could be covered. In this scenario, illegals receiving emergency room care or any type of care and subsequently not paying their bills isn't anywhere close to being a strain on our system. This would just have to be a consequence we stomach until, with improved immigration laws, we could register illegals and have them purchase private plans. Baby steps in problem solving. You don't enter a newborn into a marathon like we're doing now.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 09
"That's a collsasal amount of waste" Collsasal = COLOSSAL!! OMG. I'm officially illiterate. How do I miss these things.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26069)
• United States
19 Nov 09
It takes a lot more than that to make you "officially illiterate"...lol! Anyway, I take it your "short answer" to this is to basically leave things the way they are as far as illegal immigrants getting health care until we "fix" the illegal immigration problem in general? I was seriously curious to see if anyone would actually respond to "let them die" when they showed up at the ER or to toss them out! Annie
• United States
19 Nov 09
Well, not really to leave things the way they are. You have two gigantic walls torn down on the outside of your house. The structure is about to fall apart completely. And then you have some busted up drywall inside. The major repairs are the repairs that need to be done RIGHT AWAY. The minor repairs can wait. One of the biggest arguments I hear for allowing illegals to purchase a plan or to receive "better" care is that their emergency room visits and other forms of free care from clincs and whatnot is a "strain" on our system. Well, if other aspects--much more important aspects--of our system were fixed, then we wouldn't feel this "strain" at all. It would then be a relatively minor problem that people wouldn't even notice. And hopefully some type of immigration reform will come along to force the illegals to assimilate. I know that's not very "PC" of me. Mexicans aren't "white," so they're supposedly victims of cruel, white, Christian, right-wing extremism, and we can't say that they need to follow the laws of the land. But that's another debate. I'm losing my train of thought. Must... go... misspell...words!
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
19 Nov 09
I'm with Lil when it comes to the illegal immigrants. I don't believe they should be entitled to anything because, yes, they are criminals and they are taking jobs away from Americans by undercutting our normal employment practices. They're not just picking fruit. I don't believe that anyone should be turned away from and ER...just have ICE show up. How hard is it to have your social security card and another form of ID with you if you're here legally? In all honesty, I don't believe that too many illegal immigrants would purchase their own insurance, even if it were dirt cheap, because that would defeat the purpose of living under the radar. None of them are going to readily admit on any form that they're here illegally, this is their name and this is their address.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26069)
• United States
19 Nov 09
"...I don't believe that too many illegal immigrants would purchase their own insurance, even if it were dirt cheap, because that would defeat the purpose of living under the radar." That's a good point. It leads to the question of why are the Republicans making such a big deal out of immigrants being covered when we know they're not going to expose themselves in this way. The same goes for how some people are always claiming illegals are getting welfare and Social Security benefits. Exactly HOW do they do that? Annie
• United States
19 Nov 09
Annie they do it by using other peoples social security numbers and birth certificates. They are HUGE in identity theif. Also some states allow them to get soical programs under their children's information if the parents are not legal citizens but the kids are.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26069)
• United States
20 Nov 09
I know identity theft is a major problem in general so that definitely needs to be addressed. I guess the whole idea of allowing parents to go under their children's info when the kids ARE natural born citizens is a bit more tricky. I guess the question is are we really a nation concerned with "family values" or are we eager to either break up families or send children who were born here with their parents back to what won't be a very good life? Annie
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
19 Nov 09
I do believe we need Health Care reform but not in the manner that is being proposed. On the immigration issue I think we should seal our BORDERS and take control of who comes and goes. Being realistic we can not deport the ones who are here now. What we should do is provide a system for them to become citizens. If they do not want to be citizens then we need to have some form of guest worker program where they have a job. The ones who want to become citizens must be working and self supporting and have a US Citizen who will sponsor them and take responsibility for them if they are unable to work. Anyone with a criminal record (other than immigration) should be deported. Only US Citizens should be eligible for Government benefits (welfare) and then that should be limited. It has been my experience that the vast majority of immigrants are hard working family people who are a positive for a community.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26069)
• United States
20 Nov 09
I agree about the way to handle the immigration issue and I especially agree with your last statement as that has been my experience as well. I know we're on opposite sides of the health care reform debate but I think, since as YOU said we really can't deport all of the illegals that are already here, I'd have no problem with allowing them to BUY their own insurance from an exchange at the same savings an American citizen would get. I don't mean give them government subsidies or "free health care" but just give them the opportunity to buy their own. Annie