Stop It! Health Care Reform is Not About Immigration Reform

Democrats from the President on down are lining up to reassure the country that any health care reform will not include help for illegal aliens

Shouldn't get health care?Congratulations, illegal aliens. You’ve replaced homosexuals as the powerless group that it’s okay to trash. Even among self-described liberals. Even among racial minorities and socially powerless groups.

Personally I am intensely uncomfortable with the selfish, Americans-vs-Illegals divided standard that is passing as the agreed-upon norm. I keep searching the Bible – or any holy book – to see where the prophet recommends checking immigration status before treating someone decently. I haven’t found the Book of Joe Wilson in any of those religious writings. Of course, I am a Unitarian Universalist and may not have access to the secret exhortations to help only your own kind. Me, I think Jesus and the other honored holy people from different traditions would cry out against the false focus on residency status.

From the secular side, the battle cry reform is “Health Care is a Human Right”. Human. Not a right of citizenship. Not a reward for conforming to laws. A human right.

American Flag, parent and childSo, why is it acceptable to people coming from any perspective to exclude illegal aliens from getting treatment when they are in need?

And, when politicians talk about not treating illegal aliens, did I miss the exception for caring for children whose parents brought them to the country? No, I don’t think so. We really don’t want to “reward” any human being for needing medical care while they are in our country, if they came here secretly to pick our crops or do other scut work. We don’t want to reward their children, either. So, if the swine flu hits an illegal family, I suppose that we’re expecting that parents go back to their country of origin with their ill babies?

Sorry, I am not prepared to let children die or suffer because their parents snuck them across a political division. In fact, I am not up for letting anyone rot in the gutter when they’re sick or go without treatment for accidents. Not adults, not criminals, no one.

Moreover, liberals are being stupid when we let ourselves debate the red herring of caring for illegal aliens. Do you think that Joe “You Lie” Wilson will vote for health care reform if he’s convinced no illegal aliens will benefit? Really?

Basic health care is something we should offer all humans in the country.

Health care reform opponents have endless opportunities to divide and conquer. The issue is complex and liberals are lousy at sound bites.

I think we’ve lost the issue of universal care because we’ve senselessly jumped aboard the anti-immigrant train. This loss a crack in health care reform that is senseless, and which I hope is not structural or symptomatic of the reformers’ lack of cohesion.

Fixing the nation’s porous borders is a valid need. But, excluding sick people from getting care is not immigration reform, it isn’t health care reform, and it isn’t liberal. It isn’t moral.

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12 Responses to Stop It! Health Care Reform is Not About Immigration Reform

  1. abqdan says:

    One way and another we do pick up the cost of caring for illegal aliens. It’s a nonsense for anyone to suggest they don’t get emergency medical care when needed. Every ER is required to treat. And that policy will continue whatever reform is finally approved.

    However, that doesn’t mean we can’t be concerned about people being here illegally. I came to this country legally – it took a total of seven years to gain citizenship. I was more than willing to follow the legal process. Unfortunately, there are people of every nationality willing to try and jump the queue in front of their own fellow citizens. They break our laws and either overstay various types of visa, or cross the border illegally. Either way, they have broken US law and are not welcome here.

    I would never suggest refusing treatment to anyone; but I would suggest that hospitals and other agencies be required to check citizenship papers and report irregularities, just as they are required to report gunshot wounds.

    • ozdachs says:

      I think you’ve hit on where we disagree. I do not equate the crossing of the border without proper documentation with shooting someone or committing a crime which requires lethal force in self-defense.

      I am not offering citizenship or other solution to the real problem of illegal immigration. Exactly my point. Immigration reform and health care reform are separate issues.

      If we need a magic bullet for immigration reform, then let’s make that our need. Let’s not contaminate discussions of health care, banking, energy, and torture with the problem of immigration. The issues are different and frustration on one should not affect the others.

      • abqdan says:

        I don’t think our views are that far apart. I don’t equate illegal immigration directly with violent crime (although any ‘business’ which encourages organized crime, such as human trafficking, will engender violence). I have always believed punishment needs to fit the crime – and in this case, it means detention and deportation. I am in favor of equal enforcement of all laws – whether those are laws are deal with murder, organized crime, or illegal immigration.

        If we want to fix immigration, we also need to target the employers. They are the ones who benefit and discretely encourage illegal immigration for purposes of exploitation. It’s no coincidence that illegal immigration grew during the Bush years, mainly benefiting large business.

        And no, we certainly shouldn’t let immigration or race or any other issue deflect us from the discussion of an affordable, effective healthcare system for all.

  2. brittanicus says:

    E-Verify Vs. Illegal Immigrants

    In the past not too many Americans and legal residents were unaware of the happenings in Congress. Today instant contact is a way of life for anybody who has access to a computer. In 1986 other than the paper media, tv and radio gave any evidence of the Immigration Reform package and that was surely limited? The US population was isolated from the truth that was to befall them, after the Simpson/Mazzoli bill passed because the politicians hid the truth? 2 million guest workers were to be given citizenship, but the process became full of corruption and 5.3 million was eventually approved for blanket AMNESTY. Expeditiously the guest workers moved away from agriculture and joined the mainstream of workers. BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES ARE EQUALLY TO TAKE BLAME FOR THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION OCCUPATION OF OUR NATION.

    The people who picked the fruit and vegetables in the farms vanished, so that meant more floods of illegal workers to take the empty places. Today Obama wants to pass another miserable immigration reform bill, even though the main author Edward Kennedy insisted there would never be another path to citizenship. Millions of honest voter don’t believe the rhetoric or lies that spill from the politicians anymore. Again behind closed drapes they have been having a secret summit, with little or no participation of the press or pro-sovereignty groups. When lawmakers declare no more Immigration reform than they better stick to their words. Both parties contain corrupt legislators who care nothing for the working man/women and are ready to present in the House and Senate a new immigration reform bill.

    287 G, was a lifeline to train local police authorities to arrest and question people, but that may have seen the end of days. The no-match letter may also have been sold out, as well as ICE raids to pander to extremist groups such as La Raza. A recently released report by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 42 states lost jobs last month with Indiana alone losing 9,500 jobs! With 15 million Americans out of work and most states continuing to lose jobs on a monthly basis, it is completely obnoxious that the United States hands out about 100,000 green cards each month! THIS IS NOT RACISM THIS IS ABOUT SURVIVAL!

    President Obama is holding the reins, this time and already confusing the American people over health care. Joe Wilson was right to some degree about no mechanism in the health care package to identify illegal aliens. After the fact and bombarded by livid Americans they added amendments that would cut off all access. That why our legislators need to amplify the verification procedures, to remove foreign nationals from cheating the system.

    I trust neither Sen. Harry Reid, House speaker Pelosi and all those who fumble along behind the major conspirators. Harry Reid’s Nevada has hospitals in dire need of funds, because of the massive illegal alien population there. The same with California that’s having release 20.000 prison inmates, because they were on the edge of bankruptcy, owing to indifferent assembly in Sacramento who allowed unfettered benefits to millions of illegal immigrant families feeding out of the waning state money trough.The businesses that draw them here, pay nothing to their living conditions. Those expenses are left to the taxpayers. Call your Senator or Representative at 202-224-3121 and demand no more Immigration Reform. If you want real facts find out about the corruption and other sinister issues at NUMBERSUSA & JUDICIAL WATCH. Only your irate voices will curtail another AMNESTY travesty and stop millions more arriving illegally in America?
    Certainly I would like a Public option for some family members, but not if illegal aliens can benefit from US taxpayers paying the bill?

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: E-Verify Vs. Illegal Immigrants

      I used to be an Auditor for the Defense Department. I did an audit in the 1980s on Foreign Military Sales customers coming to the US for training but really seeking free health care. When we would bring over folks for training they would be entitled to care if they got sick during the training period. So a lot of princes and what not would come over to learn how to maintain howitzers or whatnot and then get free treatment for some condition.

      Evidence of the superiority of our care, and that immigration is closely linked to the issue. Offer everyone free care, and they will come.

      The experience taught me we ought to be seeking ways to expand our market for health care as a way to reduce per capita costs.

      Not slapping an 8% of payroll limit as I believe HR3200 would do. We’re freezing growth in our major growth industry when we do that.

      • ozdachs says:

        Re: E-Verify Vs. Illegal Immigrants

        Yes, but…

        The problems of immigration are real. I disagree with some of your attitudes, but even so I respect the viewpoint and share many of your concerns.

        However, health care reform is not about immigration.

        We can stop healthy and unhealthy undocumented people from crossing the border and living in the country. Let’s do that, but let’s not derail all of health care reform over the possibility that some of the beneficiaries will not be in the USA legally. I think that if we’ve screwed up and let a person live among us, then we need to also take care of that person when they are ill. You don’t kick a person when they are down, and you don’t let them go without health care when they are ill or injured.

  3. reypolyo says:

    Exchange-participating health benefits plan

    I find it hard to believe that President Obama and his Liberals’ Public Health Insurance Option is meant to provide “choice” or “competition.” There not much in the way of competition when one player doesn’t have to realize any profits and can hide losses, whereas the other players cannot do so, and that will inevitably lead to a commensurate loss of choice when the other players pull out of the game.
    Blue Cross California

    • ozdachs says:

      Re: Exchange-participating health benefits plan

      Except that your comment doesn’t address the issues in the original post!

      If you want to defend the current health care delivery system with insurance companies determining who gets care, you’re welcome to. I, too, am concerned about potential costs. But, we have to change and experiment. The status quo is terrible. The first attempt at reform may have to be reformed itself in a few years, but we have to change away from the current model which has been in place for decades and is demonstrably a failure.

  4. wreckhunter says:

    The president can’t ignore the polls. His success is inextricably tied to his popularity. But even in only his first eight months of office, he should have learned that Americans like a fighter. Immigration reform is something worth fighting for. It’s been supported by Republicans and Democrats. It has links to other important issues, including education, employment, and, yes, health care. – online quote

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