Impact Illegal Aliens on the Healthcare System Term Paper

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¶ … Illegal Aliens on the Healthcare System

Running Page: INSULT to INJURY

Illegal Aliens' Impact on U.S. Health Care System

The chronic problem of illegal immigrants' sharing costly, abundant and expert healthcare services system with citizens has mounted through the years. One reason is the lack of effective legislations to modify immigration laws. Another is a duality of federal policy, which vows to serve the interests of citizens and which declares an "open-door" policy to the world. California and Maryland register large populations of illegal aliens who not only share their taxpayers' social benefits. They can also secure what, in some cases, is not available even to these taxpayers themselves. A thorough study on the current situation and past efforts is warranted and more than timely.

Introduction

The dual problem of illegal immigration and illegal immigrants' impact on the healthcare system of the U.S. should have been the sharp focus of the President's 2006 State of the Union Address. The message was to deliver stronger immigration enforcement and border protection in order to keep American economy competitive. Undocumented aliens have been attracted to ease with which to enter the mainland and take advantage of its wealth and wealth of services. Legislations have not been responsive to changes so that legal residents have been shouldering health costs for illegal aliens. California alone has been burdened with the almost-daily entry of illegal aliens. Maryland also raised its voice over increasing healthcare costs its citizens for the treatment of illegal immigrants.

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This study will endeavor to establish the countrywide trend in illegal immigration from the 50s to the present, enumerate the measures that have been taken to solve or address the problem, list the arguments for and against subsidizing healthcare for illegal aliens, determine the extent of illegal immigration in California and Maryland through a survey and assess the effectiveness of current legislations and other measures with the end-view of recommending adjustments or modifications in responding to the problem or crisis.

Term Paper on Impact Illegal Aliens on the Healthcare System Assignment

The results and recommendations of the study are timely and will be helpful as inputs to the decision-making function of legislators and other authorities who have a hand or a say in the management of the problem.

Literature Review

Sanders, Robert, et al. Policy Point-Counterpoint. 2 pages. International Social Sciences Review: Pi Gamma Mu, March 22, 2006

The authors write that illegal immigration adversely and profoundly affects public agencies and free societies, specifically the United States. Every year, approximately 400,000 illegal immigrants enter the U.S. There are currently 4-12 million illegal alien residing and sharing federal and state benefits with U.S. citizens. The Welfare Reform Law of 1996 denied them virtually all benefits. California voters passed the Save Our Land State Amendment in 1994 to deny them of public social and welfare services, public non-emergency healthcare and public education. Opponents contend that these moves violate federal immigration law, the right to due process and the provisions of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees free education to the children of illegal aliens. Supporters of the prohibition say that households of illegal alien drain the federal government of approximately $26 billion worth of social services and criminal justice system expenses every year. Those who lobby for the health care provision for illegal aliens argue that these illegal aliens contribute to the overall tax base. Depriving them of health care benefits will also increase crime and contribute to public health problems or make these problems worse.

Stoil, Michael J. The Immigration Issue Burns Long-Term Care, Too. 2 pages. Nursing Homes: Medquest Communications, Inc., LLC, 2006

The author notes that President George Bush's State of the Nation Address of 2006 focused on immigration reform, specifically the Immigration Act of 1990. This legislation ironically created today's problem of illegal immigration. It set visa limits in response the worst recession of the time but a decade of huge expansion and demand for low-income, hourly and seasonal workers followed. This attracted at least 11 million foreign nationals, mostly illegal ones, to fill the vacancies. The situation had changed since then. Unemployment went down and the demand for low-income, incidental employees fell below 5%. The few amendments to the Immigration Act between 1991 and 2001 neither responded nor addressed the change in circumstances. The government may now be more aware of the problem of illegal immigration and its overall impact. But its repeated global declaration of "keeping an open door" is clearly a major cause of the problem it wants to solve or prevent.

Boulet, Jim, Jr. Democrats' Forked Tongue on Health Care, National Security. 2 pages. Human Events: Human Events Publishing, Inc., November 22, 2004

Hospitals have been pressured to first determine if a patient seeking medical treatment has the legal right to it. These initiatives, however, were opposed as interfering with medical urgencies. American taxpayers shoulder the cost of health care and medical treatment of illegal aliens. One form is the four-year $1 billion subsidy from the government for at least part of their hospital treatment without needing to ask about their immigration status. An example given in the Washington Post is the case of Houston's Harris Country Hospital District, which spent $330 million to treat and immunize illegal immigrants for three years.

Dembeck, Chet. Maryland Lawmakers Want Impact Studies on Influx of Illegal Aliens. 2 pages. The (Baltimore) Daily Record: Dolan Media Newswires, January 26, 2004

Dembeck reports that Maryland legislators want to know how the 56,000 illegal aliens in the State are affecting the welfare of its people, specifically its health care system. Their legislations, if passed, would create two task forces. One of them would deal with the pressure imposed by illegal aliens on the State's health care system. More and more illegal immigrants have been coming to emergency rooms for treatment every day. In one hospital alone, unpaid care increased from $11 million in 2002 to $14.8 million in 2003. Overall hospital rates would have to be raised to cover the increase. The increase, however, could not be accounted for entirely by illegal aliens who received care.

Hanson, Gayle. Illegal Aliens Bilk Sick U.S. System. 7 pages. Insight on the News: News World Communications, Inc., April 18, 1994

Illegal aliens are not only sharing health care benefits but, in some cases, also receive benefits not enjoyed by American citizens themselves. California Governor Pete Wilson joined hands with the governors of Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Arizona to compel the federal government to pay the State $7.5 billion yearly to care for these States. Governor Wilson's investigators reported that many illegal immigrants would take advantage of California's abundant social services, which are paid for my taxpayers. High and continuously increasing health costs shared by the aliens with the citizens have unjustly deprived the latter of the health services they need and deserve, according to the Governor. Statistics said that California has more than 2 million illegal immigrants, which accounted for more than half of the country's total. The State pays for the health care services of the immigrants but also that of their American-born children. In 1992 alone, 96,000 babies were born to undocumented women alien immigrants under Medi-Cal coverage. As it stood, 40% of all publicly funded births went to them. Because these babies were American, they were immediately eligible to a wide range of public assistance. In most cases, their mothers were also entitled to the benefits.

California claimed $3.6 million, or nearly half, of the $7.5 billion total charged to the federal government for the social services rendered to undocumented aliens. These were mainly health care services. It started when Congress passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in 1986, which required the States to provide emergency medical and childbirth services to all illegal aliens through the Medicaid programs. As a consequence, the California's free medical care increased 18 times. Two years later, the State paid $22 million for the health care services of 31,600 illegal immigrants. They were required to declare their intention to remain in the United States by presenting a utility bill or a driver's in securing the services. In 1994, California spent close to $400 million caring for 390,000 illegal aliens. Governor Wilson said that the federal government should take steps to control U.S. borders and contain massive illegal immigration. He urged the federal government to ease taxpayers of the burden and reimburse them the costs of its failure. He also emphasized that the U.S.-Mexico border is porous and thousands of illegal aliens could cross it every day. These aliens worked, went to school and, in some cases, even committed crime in the mainland.

Clarke, Richard L. The Health Security Act - Good News, Bad News. 2 pages. Health Care Financial Management: Healthcare Financial Management Association, 1994

Clarke applauded and deplored the then proposed Health Security Act by former President Bill Clinton. It guaranteed universal healthcare coverage for all Americans, ease in preparing paperwork and delivery system, the control of the costs, individual choice of coverage and providers of health care… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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