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Saul Diaz was a penniless, unemployed and uninsured undocumented alien living in Georgia. He got into a severe car accident. While he was in hospital, he racked up $1 million in medical expenses. Before being sent back to Mexico, he died. The uncompensated bill was left over for the hospital. An illegal immigrant pregnant lady delivered her baby in U. S. She received Medicaid on her baby and prenatal care. Under the Medicaid, she got paid for her child delivery cost, her Spanish interpreter and diapers for her baby (Guzzardi, 2). What is the common thread in these two stories?
They are both about illegal immigrants who received medical care without paying for it. Here comes another argument: Should we provide health care service to illegal aliens who have not contributed to our country? Would that be unfair to our citizens because we had shared a piece of our properties with the illegal aliens? No matter whether the answer is “yes” or “no”, the illegal immigrants are greatly disturbing out health care system. Since World War II, poor workers from largely Agrarian, Catholic and authoritarian Spain flocked northward into industrialized and more democratic Germany and France to find jobs (Hanson, 1).
Until now, people are still moving place to place for better living standard or better job opportunities. For some countries such as Mexico, people tries to get away from the impoverishment and the politic from entering U. S. borders illegally. According to “How Will the Illegal Immigrant Ends? ”, Mexico’s per capita gross domestic products is only a quarter of the United States (Hanson, 2). Wages in Mexico are far lower than in America. Many Mexican came to U. S. to achieve better living standard even by illegal method. There are approximately 14 to 22 millions of illegal immigrants in U. S. urrently, according to the data given by the Department of Homeland Security (Health Care Solution in the Real World). They are uninsured, most likely under the impoverished line. They are eligible for Medicaid by the law. As we can see from the cases in the beginning, the hospital will provide emergency care for patients, regardless of whether they are undocumented or not. They failed to pay the bill and put a huge burden on the hospital. According to the article, “Why the Health Care Is So Costly? ”, U. S. hospitals in border states spend at least $1 billion a year in providing health care to illegal aliens.
In 2005, eighty hospitals in Florida ended in closure due to unbearable costs and expenses (Schlafly, 3). This would be a big problem for the Florida citizens because the close out of hospitals makes them less accessible to health care service. Moreover, since the undocumented aliens are uninsured, they cannot afford to pay the expensive medical bills. Base on their identity, they cannot access regular health care service because they cannot provide a proof of their citizenship. As a result they can only use the emergency room service whenever they need medical care.
This leads to the abuse of emergency room service. According to the article, “Why the Health Care Is So Costly? ” hospitals in border states provide at least $200 million a year in uncompensated emergency cares to illegal aliens in 2005 (Schlafly, 2). Nevertheless, what we really concern is a person had died because he or she could not access to medical care immediately because of the abuse of ER service by those do not really need it. Furthermore, the illegal aliens affect our health cares system by carrying in diseases into our country.
According to the medical literature reports that many illegal immigrants carry fatal diseases or infections. They might carry diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, polio, leprosy, plague, dengue fever and chagas diseases (Glueck and Cihak, 1). The reason behind is they may not get high quality medical cares in their own country, so they came here to achieve a more quality health care service. Another reason is they are from some poor countries that lack of health care with poor sanitary situation. They are more likely carrying sicknesses.
If they don’t get treat properly, the disease will spread out and threaten other people’s health. While the illegal immigrants are affecting our health care system, how come we do not stop them from receiving cares? This is not an easy question to answer. We have to think about it in both moral and political ways. According to James Dwyer in his article, “Illegal Immigrants, Health Care, and Social Responsibility”, “Nationalists” argue that illegal immigrants have no claim to health benefits because people who have no right to be in the country should not have the right to share benefits in that country. Humanists” say access to health care is a basic human right and should be provided to everyone, no matter if they are illegal or legal here. Neither of the above ideas is correct enough. He suggests that there is no direct relation between violating the law and the right to share the health care. For instance, a lot of citizens violate the law in many ways. They did not get caught and still receive the medical benefits. The illegal immigrants violate the law only because they entered the U. S. in an unlawful way. They should also receive health care just the same as other citizens do.
Even when people argue that illegal immigrant did not contribute to paying taxes; they do pay sales tax, gas tax, and value-added tax (Dwyer, 1). In the worse case, if we insist to deny cares to illegal aliens, they will fail to seek care because of deportation, yet leads to more severe diseases and might harm the public in long term. But, if we say that we should give out benefits to everyone based on human needs and rights, we would have to owe people too many things that we don’t have enough resources to produce. Since the issue is so complex, it has been argued for many years.
The government proposed so many policies and laws to reduce the number of illegal immigrants. However, there are still approximately 300,000 to 500. 000 undocumented immigrants that enter the U. S. each year (Glueck and Cihak, 5). I would suggest some solutions here. For long term solution, we should modify the immigration process and law. First, we should restrict our border. In “Policy Analysis”, the author says that the Border Patrol has made significant gains in stopping illegal entries over the last 2 years, especially in El Paso, and San Diego (Miller and Moore, 2).
Many illegal immigrants are first here legally by visa and become illegal when they stay after the visa expires. If the visa policy is more restricted, for example, more documents needed or fewer visa issues, fewer people can enter easily. Also, if we put more fences or build a wall at the border, less people can enter by climbing over. Second, we should shorten the immigration process and time. The most effective method of reducing illegal aliens is to make them become legal. A lot of undocumented aliens here are willing to go through a lawful way, but they do not have the time or money to do so.
Yet, they are more risk-taking and willing to work hard, which would be a labor capital to U. S. Therefore, making them legal here will benefit the country because they can contribute more to the country. The third way is sending some support to where the most illegal immigrants are from. Based on my surveys on some illegal aliens here, they would rather stay in their own country if there were a better economy and more job opportunities. For short term solution, I suggest we should provide affordable medical care.
We should provide cheaper drugs and prescription to the illegal immigrants. According to the article, “Here’s a Health Care Solution Everybody Can Love” by Jack Lohman, we can also introduce a program which requires the graduates of U. S. medical school who are citizens of foreign countries to spend community service on helping the illegal aliens from their country (Lohman, 4). This program can join with the cheaper prescriptions policy, which can lower the price of medical care and meanwhile, lower the medical expenses from the government as well.
We all understand that we are trying to help the illegal immigrants, not putting them in any harsh situation or deporting them. Yet, we need to keep the country runs in order and people are under control. Since the illegal immigrants are disturbing our country in many ways, not only in health system, but also in job opportunities, crime rates and other social problems, we need to solve the issue as soon as possible. And, I am sure this is the only way to keep America a nice and fair place to live.
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