Universal health care in the U.S.

Universal health care for those in the US illegally   70 votes

  1. 1. Should those who are in the US illegally be covered under a universal health care program?

    • Yes, comprehensive coverage should be paid for those in the US illegally at taxpayer expense
      18
    • Yes, but only for visits to an emergency room or free clinic
      26
    • No, those in the US illegally should be required to purchase private health insurance out of their own pocket
      26

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344 posts in this topic

Since the topic came up on another thread, I thought it deserved its own thread. There is a chance the next US President and Congress will attempt to create some sort of universal health care system, and that raises the question of whether or not those who are in the US illegally will be covered under that universal system or not. Eurovol thinks that they will not be covered and will continue to use emergency rooms (which they clearly do not pay for now) under a universal system, but I think it is a good idea to consider either scenario- who would pay for the health care of those in the US illegally if they would be completely covered under a universal system, and if they are not offically covered via insurance but are still getting treated at emergency rooms (which is currently required by law) how will that treatment be paid for given the cost of covering the unemployed, disabled, and those covered under Medicare (age 65 and over) under a new universal system? Should those who are in the US illegally get free health insurance at taxpayer expense? I'd like to hear others' opinion on this. From what I have read, estimates on the number of those in the US´illegally run as high as 25-30 million and as low as 10-12 million.

 

 

We won't get universal health care unless the US votes overwhelmingly Dem in next years elections and the elections two years after that. The "left" policies of clean water, clean air, medicare, social security and about a half dozen other successful programs (including reformed welfare) are being systematically dismantled by the "for Corporate profit" Repugs. Considering the last 7 years, I can see why Heidi has a love affair with a dream reality that she thinks Germany is. Germany has its problems too and number one on that list is work reform and getting rid of this notion that you live, eat, breath and die in one job that has permanent written all over it and in the laws. Want to see production and efficiency jump to where the rest of the world thinks it is in Germany (and most likely even higher), then dump some permanent people who are wasting time and money in their safe haven jobs. The slackers need to go!

 

Just curious eurovol, but how do you think a universal health care system in the US would cover illegal immigrants, and if it would, how would insurance for those who are in the US illegally be paid for?

 

Same as it does now. They go to the emergency room and clog up the system like all the other uninsured peeps, but that is off topic.
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In Canada every province has a slightly different system, in Manitoba, everyone has a Medical Number if you are a resident, so those without have to pay for the treatment. We always have to present our card.

 

There are alot of abuses- people, because they don´t have to pay, tend to travel to the doc for every little twitch they have, making it harder for those that are really ill or need care. But I know in Manitoba, they are weeding the abusers out of the system.

 

They might not all be illegals clogging up emergency rooms, there are alot of students, tourists, and pensioners in the US too.

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Third option: The only reason why there are so many illegal immigrants is because it has been tacitly permitted for years because it was an end run around minimum wage and other labor laws that everyone permitted. Create a system so those who want to work in the US can do so legally.

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Why are the illegal immigrants there and what is it they are providing to the US?

 

It seems to me that they are there because there is a demand and they provide a cheap labour base that allows the US economy to compete with other economies with cheaper labor markets.

 

If that's the case why the big problem? They are generating wealth for everybody and allowing others to earn more.

 

If there wasn't a demand for illegal immigrants the problem would disapear overnight.

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In Canada every province has a slightly different system, in Manitoba, everyone has a Medical Number if you are a resident, so those without have to pay for the treatment. We always have to present our card.

 

There are alot of abuses- people, because they don´t have to pay, tend to travel to the doc for every little twitch they have, making it harder for those that are really ill or need care. But I know in Manitoba, they are weeding the abusers out of the system.

They might not all be illegals clogging up emergency rooms, there are alot of students, tourists, and pensioners in the US too.

Carm, you may not know that pensioners have Medicare to pay medical bills and that some have health benefits as retirees from the company for which they worked (or from the military).

 

While not everyone in an emergency room is in the US illegally, the question was not about universal care per se, nor about US citizens, permanent residents, and those otherwise legally in the US using the health care system, it was about whether or not, and to what extent, those who are in the US illegally are entitled to health insurance and/or health care at taxpayer expense if the US does indeed adopt a system of universal health insurance. Nor is my question about illegal immigration per se. Pas, thefirelane, and others, try to address the simple question I have brought up here for discussion.

 

Those who do support insuring those illegally in the US, do you support doing it if they and their employers are not paying into the system at all (or if they are unemployed)- i.e., do you support paying for the health care with taxpayer funds of anyone who makes it into the US illegally regardless of whether or not they are paying premiums (not likely) or not (most likely)?

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Carm, you may not know that pensioners have Medicare to pay medical bills and that some have health benefits as retirees from the company for which they worked (or from the military).

I know that, but you seem to be making a generalization that the only threat to UniHealthCare is the illegals, I thought I would throw that in.

 

I aslo know that my relatives from the US- about 90% come across the Border to Canada for their Medical/Dental Treatments due to costs. (Luckily most live just across the border).

 

There are other factors to look at- like the price of a mistake and how sue happy the US is, that pushes the insurance rates up, making treatment rates more, sterility costs are also astronimical as is the proper disposal issue of BioWaste - that is all medical waste products. Costs of good health care- doctors, nurses, quallity support staff need to be addressed also.

Costs of maintaining a clinic or hospital, these all cost money, and would then come from the MedaCare pot of money.

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Carm, you make excellent points about some of the ways that health care costs are forced higher in the US due to regulation or other public policies, and I do not disagree with you on that. Nothing is implied in my question- it is what it is. This is an issue that needs to be debated because universal health care is going to be an issue in the presidential campaign and may well become a legislative reality. It is also a reality that there are large numbers of people living illegally in the US, and one of the reasons to have a universal health care system is to ensure all are covered regardless of ability to pay- but that ( and common sense) implies that the benefits of universal coverage is only for those there legally. In an universal system, I don't see how it would be possible to deny all but emergency room coverage to those in the US illegally, and that's assuming you KNOW that they are illegal. If you don't, how can you refuse coverage? No country's social welfare system has ever been designed to accomodate unquantifiable numbers of people who do not pay into it and who do not legally reside in the society.

 

It may well be that the uninsured among those in the US legally would break the bank in a system of universal coverage; however, their numbers are dwarfed by the sheer numbers who could come to the US seeking treatment if those in the US illegally are also given comprehensive coverage along with those already in the US illegally. The costs of treating those in the US illegally will not be bourne by those employing them to the extent they should be, thus the shortfall will be made up by all taxpayers.

 

What your family members are doing is what any consumer who lives near the US-Canadian border would do- however it sounds to me like they may be taking advantage of subsidies intended for those living in Canada, not those living in the US.

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I think that the Free Clinic and Emergency rooom option is a good one. But there should be a system in place that would see if "Pancho Villa" is enrolled and covered by the Universal HCP or not. So lets say that "Pancho" is not covered under the UHCP, and walks in Cedar Beaver Emergency room, with a swollen hand; after verifying that he is not in the system, the staff tells him that he needs to go to Cedar Beaver Free Clinic for care. Now, if it is a matter of life and death, or something really serious, then yes they should take care of "Pancho". I think every human has the right to health care, even if they can not pay for it. I know that if I was in Mexico for holidays and something happened to me, I would want to receive health care. And like somebody said already (sorry don't remember your name right now), these imigrants do provide a much needed service to the States. The U.S. economy would crumble without them.

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What about fixing up one of Pancho's hands in exchange for one of his perfectly functioning lungs - of which he has one he doesnt really need?

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It seems to me that they are there because there is a demand and they provide a cheap labour base that allows the US economy to compete with other economies with cheaper labor markets.

In a nutshell: people, in their mind, minimize the benefit and maximize the cost.

 

So people in Texas generally ignore the fact that the cost of food, construction, and living is insanely low there, and instead focus on how insane it is that government documents must be printed in more than one language and athat dditional schools must be built.

 

In reality, it is just racism plain and simple. Conservative Christian whites see illegal immigrants as an affront to “the American way of life

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As I see it, within the scope of what I have posted for comment, here is what is given;

 

1. We assume a system of universal health care is going to be passed into law.

2. We assume continuing illegal entry into the US of x number of people and the continued presence in the US of x number of people who are there illegally.

3. We assume that those in the US illegally are not paying health insurance premiums because, as thefirelane pointed out, they are being hired as a way to avoid paying minmum wage and payroll taxes (of which one would be universal health insurance premiums).

 

Given the above, Do we offer those illegally in the US comprehensive health coverage, do we offer them just emergency and free clinic treatment, or do we require them to purchase private health insurance to cover all of their health insurance needs. Do we pay for anyone's comprehensive health care (not just emergency treatment) who seeks it in the US, regardless of whether they just came to the US for free treatment or if they have lived in the US illegally, but never paid taxes or health insurance premiums?

 

Those who wish to comment, that is what I ask you to address, not something extraneous.

 

EDIT: thefirelane, perhaps you should take a look at this link:

http://www.austinchamber.com/DoBusiness/Gr...file/costs.html

 

There are other cost-of-living calculators out there. Texas is considered inexpensive because of low housing costs (they have a lot of land there) not because of the presence of those living and working illegally, and there are people residing illegally in the US in all parts of the country. As for the benefits and costs, can you quantify them, and explain who benefits and who is hurt?

 

One other thing, what about the rule of law? Is it logical to believe that people who knowingly break the law by being in the US illegally will otherwise obey it in all other realms? Assuming that all of those in the US illegally are nonwhite (as thefirelane apparently does) although it is actually not the case, isn't it then "racist" to say that nonwhite people do not have to obey the laws of the US because they are nonwhite?

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First thing you need to understand is just what is meant by "Universal". 10:1 says it is a misnomer and whatever passes won't look anything like what you think. The Repubs will use illegal immigrants to demonize it just as they do to get around paying a decent wage in many jobs. Illegal immigrants: can't live with them, can't live without them. That is the reality of it.

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Ok... hint taken, I'll keep my rants to myself.

 

In my opinion though, they should be given the universal health care at taxpayer expense. I think this for three reasons:

 

1. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: Treating illnesses is by far less expensive to society as a whole than letting people suffer until it is an emergency

 

2. Emergency rooms should be for emergencies only. When I get in a car accident I don’t want to wait around, especially because someone is there for a situation that could have been treated much earlier in a non-emergency setting.

 

3. It puts more pressure on the citizens to legalize the illegal immigrants to some capacity. I think if there were a legal way to employ such people, and it was easy for them to go through this process, they would do it.

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I know that if I was in Mexico for holidays and something happened to me, I would want to receive health care.

Depending on where you are in Mexico, I might just take the risk and try to crawl back to the states before going to a hospital.

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I think that emergency healthcare needs to be free, and it should be free for everyone, be they residents, tourists, illegal immigrants. Anything above the basic emergency needs you should cover yourself

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I'll not disagree too much with that although what constitutes basic needs?

 

Why should all human beings not be able to get 'basic' medical attention or are some people lower class humans and cast aside as they didn't directly pay taxes? What about all the rich people busily going around trying really hard to avoid paying taxes?

 

I can really see no justification for a full and comprehensive health system for anybody. No economy can sustain that , as the German and UK systems show. The more money you throw at them the more it tends to disappear with little or no improvement.

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Anything above the basic emergency needs you should cover yourself

But as is often the case, the poor can not cover it themselves, so it must wait until it is an emergency... which costs society more.

 

A good example: a woman has an ectopic pregnancy, which can be cured relatively easily. However, it is not an emergency... so would it be covered under your description? Would she have to wait until her fallopian tube burst before receiving treatment if she couldn’t afford an abortion?

 

If the answer to the above is yes, since it will inevitably become an emergency.. then what about severe congestion requiring an angioplasty or some other preventative medicine?

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I still say Pancho's got a spare lung and kidney if needs be which could help some sick white kid somewhere.

 

Truth be told there are countless places where healthcare is shit altogether , its all very well for first world folks to say that it "should be free" but look at the numbers of African and Asian docs here - uhh they're not here because of the first world's increased needs.

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I still say Pancho's got a spare lung and kidney if needs be which could help some sick white kid somewhere.

And plenty of hungry Americans who could be fed with the new government subsidized food product "Soylent Brown"

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