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Will Illegal Immigrants Benefit From Health Reform?

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, September 11, 2009 11:58 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Illegal Aliens, Undocumented Workers, Health Care Reform, Obama

HR 3200 prevents illegal immigrants from using the U.S. health care system.

Sorting Out the Illegal Immigrant Issue


IMAGE SOURCE: So Florida Sun Sentinel Web site/ image of Luis Jimenez

In an attempt to counter claims that waves of undocumented illegal immigrants would flood the U.S. to seek universal health care - some clarity on the actual proposal is surfacing.

The Washington Post reports that the issue is complicated because some households have illegal and legal immigrants.

The language in the House proposal titled, “No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens,” says the federal subsidies would not be available to the six or seven million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.

The concerns over the undocumented taking advantage of a U.S. health-care system are unfounded, say social policy experts.

“Will some illegal immigrant get [help]? Probably. Will it be this big problem? Probably not,” said Gerald Prante, with the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

Medicaid already reimburses hospitals for emergency treatment (such as childbirth), and that is subsidized by taxpayers, the Post reports. But Medicaid checks immigration status.

A review two years ago by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform looked at Medicaid enrollment in six states and found only eight illegal immigrants, reports the Seattle Times. And undocumented workers often avoid interacting with hospitals and government out of fear someone will discover their illegal status.

An editorial in the Seattle Times says, look to Canada – They have government-guaranteed medical care and a big immigration program, with almost no undocumented workers. “Canada doesn’t tolerate illegal immigration” reports syndicated columnist, Froma Harrop.

The U.S. tolerates illegal immigrants as a subclass who works at low paying jobs. President Obama’s administration has stepped up enforcement of companies suspected of using illegal labor, the first serious crack down in decades.


Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

Factcheck. Org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan resource, has more on the myths surrounding health reform. #

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