Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A crisis we can solve: Denying health care to undocumented immigrants is immoral, unjust and un-American

Sickness does not pick and choose based on immigration status — at least California is aware of this

By David Dayen, Salon.com
June 15, 2016

Two Latino men are stricken with similar gunshot wounds by the shooter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Both are rushed to local emergency rooms and treated for their injuries. Both require additional physical therapy, rehabilitation, mental counseling, and perhaps additional surgeries to be restored to full health.

Both make the same amount of money, but only one can afford the additional mcedical bills after the tragedy. That’s because one of the Latino men had health insurance coverage, and one doesn’t. The man with coverage is considered a U.S. citizen, and the man who doesn’t is an undocumented immigrant. And that fact sets them on two different courses as a result of Omar Mateen’s hail of bullets.

This is the current law of the land in 49 states. Undocumented immigrants cannot access health insurance coverage on the Obamacare exchanges, even if they can pay for it entirely with their own money. They can purchase directly through an insurance carrier, but with the advent of Obamacare those options have dried up and become more expensive. There aren’t many forms of discrimination left against particular classes of people for purchasing goods and services. You can’t stop someone from eating at a lunch counter or drinking from a water fountain. But you can stop someone from buying health insurance coverage to afford medical care, simply because of where they were born.[...]

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