Today's Date: February 25, 2021
DataRobot Introduces ContagionNET, Uniting Human and Machine Intelligence to Defeat Pandemics   •   Jason Colodne and Colbeck Capital Management Support Upcoming Children's Tumor Foundation National Poker Tournament for Charity   •   New Voices Foundation to Hold $100,000 Virtual Pitch Competition for Women of Color Entrepreneurs   •   Hanu Labs, a leading California-based cannabis technology company appoints first African American Chief Executive Officer   •   Nation's Mayors Applaud House Passage of the Equality Act   •   Illinois Utilities Opening Doors to Opportunities for Diverse Suppliers   •   Pashion Footwear Raises Over $1 Million After Shark Tank   •   Shareity Partners with AICR and Pazazz to Crunch Cancer with Your Selfie   •   A Historic Number of Black Women Own Small Businesses in the US, Finds Annual Small Business Trends Report Released by Guidant F   •   Pepperdine Graziadio Invites Leaders to Attend Complimentary International Women’s Day Virtual Conference on March 8th   •   MDA Celebrates FDA Approval of Amondys 45 for Treatment of DMD Amenable to Exon 45 Skipping   •   COVID‑19 Vaccination Appointments Available at 730 Florida Publix Pharmacies   •   CORRECTING and REPLACING COVID‑19 Vaccination Appointments Available at 730 Florida Publix Pharmacies   •   Mathew Knowles Hosts Mathew Knowles IMPACT, A New Podcast Show on iHeartRadio   •   Fragrance Creators Association Applauds House Passage of H.R. 5, the Equality Act   •   Statement by the Alliance for Lasting Liberty on the Passage of the Equality Act   •   Jones & Bartlett Learning Earns Esteemed Global Certified Accessible™ Designation from Benetech   •   Recording Academy® Announces Official GRAMMY® Week Events   •   The Newly-Established Society of Black Pathologists Seeks to Address Healthcare Disparities and Pathology Workforce Diversity   •   Jamieson Wellness Inc. President and CEO Mark Hornick to Retire
Bookmark and Share

The Real Questions About Immigrants and Health Insurance Reform

 

 

WashingtonDC - Today, the Senate Finance Committee begins marking-up legislation introduced by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), a process that could take several days.  The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan, non-profit pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington.

 

As we predicted, the politics of immigration have been dragged into the politics of health insurance reform. It is now crystal clear that no issue of importance can be determined smoothly and comprehensively as long as 12,000,000 people live, work and raise children in the U.S. but float in limbo because of our broken immigration system.

 

The anti-immigration side, most of whom would oppose the President's approach to health care reform anyway, has lied to the public.  Their claims that undocumented immigrants and their families would somehow benefit or even participate in a reformed health insurance system are patently false.  Our current systems of public health insurance (Medicare and Medicaid) already do a very, very good job of excluding ineligible immigrants. 

 

Adding additional documentation requirements would be repeating a mistake we made when documentation checks on Medicaid in 2006 prevented eligible citizens and especially children from accessing care.  Rearranging already effective methods for screening out ineligible immigrants from government programs will cause additional problems for citizens and legal residents; such as those 11-13 million Americans with no driver's license, birth certificate, or passport who could be excluded from access to affordable health insurance under various proposals under consideration.

 

Reality is not the strong suit of anti-immigration advocates and Members of Congress whose approach to immigration is based on driving out or deporting 12,000,000 people and their families. 

 

The real questions on immigrants and health insurance reform relate to citizens, legal immigrants, and children.

 

Tax-paying legal permanent residents and other legal immigrants are also in jeopardy because of existing rules that bar them from coverage for five years and because of new restrictions being considered as part of health insurance reform.  Five years is a long time to have to rely on the emergency room for expensive coverage (that we all pay for) and it is a lifetime for a child.  It is fiscally and socially wise to include all tax-payers equally in a reformed health insurance system.

 

Finally, every child in America, regardless of the immigration status of their parents, is extremely likely to work and raise children in this country and live out the rest of their lives here.  Therefore, it is a wise investment to ensure that affordable health insurance coverage is available to children. 

 

If our goal is to make sure as many people living and working in America are covered by affordable health insurance so that the cost to tax-payers of expensive uninsured medical expenses is reduced, then ignoring immigration status makes sense.  However, at a minimum, we should make sure that all tax-payers who are legal residents or citizens have access to affordable insurance coverage and we should not bar anyone who can afford it on their own from purchasing it.

 

Health insurance reform and immigration reform are two separate but interrelated matters.  The goal of health insurance reform should be making sure every tax-payer in the system has access to affordable coverage.  Immigration reform should be about making sure that everyone who is living, working, and raising families in the U.S. is in the system and paying the full compliment of taxes.  We need solutions on both fronts.

 

# # #

 

Experts from the National Immigration Law Center, the National Council of La Raza and the Center for Community Change joined the National Immigration Forum on September 21, 2009 for a telephonic briefing on the Senate Finance Committee's Healthcare mark-up and potential provisions related to immigrants.  Audio recording from the press conference is available athttp://immigrationforum.org/press/audio and a transcript athttp://www.immigrationforum.org/press/contact/press-conference-transcripts

 



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News