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American Borders Forum

What should American immigration and border policies be? Submit your ideas to The American Borders Forum today.
Site updates each Wednesday


Is Denying Healthcare To Undocumented Immigrants The Best Way To Lower Healthcare Costs In America?: Left of Center View

I think a better question is as an ethical and moral nation CAN we deny healthcare to anyone in America? Most of the medical professionals I speak with already lament our current system a being too focused on cost. Insurance companies deny small claims; consequentially minor things go untreated until they become major and very expensive. Hospitals are required to provide treatment regardless of the patientís ability to pay and urgent care is not really a negotiation situation. So hospitals essentially overcharge those who can afford it to cover the costs of treatment to those who can't.

Obviously the majority of undocumented workers fall into the ďcan't payĒ category. Refusing medical treatment to people who can't afford to pay the bill would certainly same money, and possibly lower the costs for everyone else. On the surface this may seem like a no-brainer - deny them care. But the problem is that to do so is to set the precedent of not providing care to people who can't pay their bills and the majority of these people are here legally or citizens, they just also happen to be poor.

In a recent televised town hall meeting President Obama explained that the U.S. government spends the majority of its budget on Defense, Medicare and Medical and Social Security. We give away hundreds of millions in foreign aid and subsidy programs, but really it is just a drop in the bucket. We could cut out all other spending and still run at a deficit. Realize that it is the medical industry that fosters and fans the propaganda that it would be disastrous if the government became involved in healthcare, because if you are over 65 chances are - the government is ALREADY providing for your healthcare. It's political suicide to publicly state that you will cut either program, so obviously American's are already comfortable with government run healthcare.

Should the U.S. finally follow the rest of the industrialized world and provide its citizens with healthcare (I mean really people - we're sneaking into Canada to get our prescriptions filled) many of these issues would simply go away. Emergency rooms are overloaded because for many that is the only medical care available. Allowing people who couldn't previously afford it access to doctors gives them an alternative, but also lowers the cost. Emergency room visits are very expensive and let's face it, miserable places to visit. What other part of the hospital is the staff separated from the public by a wall of bullet proof glass.

Finally, think of this. If hospitals are to deny care to undocumented workers, regardless of their ability to pay, patients will be put in the position of having to prove their immigration status prior to receiving treatment. Doctor or other scheduled visit this should be fairly simple. But what if it's your child who's at risk? What if you find yourself in the position of rushing your screaming, or even worse, silent child to the emergency room? You left in a hurry, worried about the spider / snake bite, the broken bone, the blood. You didn't run back into the house for your wallet or purse and you certainly didn't stop to grab your child's papers. Now when you finally get to the hospital you have to first prove your immigration status before they will do ANYTHING. No wonder they have bullet proof glass.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Is Denying Healthcare To Undocumented Immigrants The Best Way To Lower Healthcare Costs In America?: Right of Center View

Iím a pragmatist. I use the pen name The Realist because I like to think that I take a fairly realistic approach to debating public policy. While I would love to see things lean more to the conservative side on many issues, I understand that there are realities in life we have to face whether we like them or not. In the debate over healthcare I have seen many people who lean to the conservative side try to say that if we provide healthcare to illegal immigrants weíll be hurting America. While I agree that simply accepting that illegal immigration is going to happen is both defeatist and foolish, I also understand that denying healthcare to approximately twelve million people inside our borders would be a damned foolish thing to do.

Letís stop and think about this logically for a minute. What happens if we donít immunize people because of their immigration status? Eventually it could become a life and death issue affecting millions of people who are here legally. Disease cares not about what your immigration status is. Legal or illegal, H1N1 will infect you just the same. If youíre not vaccinated because youíre here illegally, youíre more likely to catch it. Just because someone is here illegally does not mean that they donít have contact with people who are supposed to be here. Disease spreads across socio-economic lines so you need to address prevention across those lines or your hurt everyone.

Letís take it a step further. What happens if millions get sick and are refused treatment forcing them back across the border to seek help? Sure, theyíre gone from here but not before theyíve infected Americans and they have now begun a pandemic by leaving in an unorganized manner. American interests are not solely within our borders so shutting the doors to everyone is not feasible. People travel to and from America every day for legitimate reasons. Whatís to keep the pandemic we caused by not treating the sick from coming back here via legal travel or immigration and still causing an epidemic here?

There are also the costs of having people with untreated illness that eventually leaves them incapacitated. Do you think that simply denying them care will get them out of the country before they get too bad? It wonít. The sick will get sicker and many would die. We canít just leave them out on the streets dead so somebody paid by your tax dollars will have to deal with them costing us money. Every one of them would require an autopsy and burial or cremation not to mention the possible isolation of anyone that came in contact with them until such time as a cause of death has been determined. That all costs the taxpayers money.

This is not to say however that addressing illegal immigration through the medical system is not a possibility. You could require all people receiving treatment to give their personal information including Social Security number and enter that data into a national database. If they are found to be using a Social Security number fraudulently or donít have one, they could be detained at the hospital until their status can be determined. If they are here legally they would be free to go. If not, they would be deported as soon as they are well. To be fair every patient should be required to provide the information during the admission process regardless of their immigration status. It is a humane policy in that it denies nobody treatment but it also enforces the law by making those here illegally leave once they have been treated.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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A Legal Immigrantís Perspective

If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so am I. I came legally to this country at the age of five with my parents who worked hard, paid taxes (even Jesus paid taxes), lived by the rules of this great nation and never took or accepted a penny from the government. We came seeking FREEDOM from a communist country. It was months before we were able to enter the US legally. I remember us getting medical exams, shots (small pox), background check, references, and going through numerous interviews once we arrived. I also remembered people coming to the US from all over the world who waited years since it was based on "Quotas". Read more...

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally ďThe RaceĒ in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isnít really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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