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[politics] A few simple questions about illegal immigrants and healthcare - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-09-11 14:58
Subject: [politics] A few simple questions about illegal immigrants and healthcare
Security: Public
Tags:healthcare, politics
Given the furor over Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's healthcare speech this week, I have a few simple questions for you. I'm interested in answers from all across the political spectrum, and especially in your logic behind them.

(1) Should the proposed public option cover illegal immigrants?

(2) Should illegal immigrants be entitled to emergency medical care?

(3) Should illegal immigrants be entitled to nonemergency or preventative medical care?

(4) Should immigration status be checked at accident scenes or time of ER admission?

(5) What should happen to people refused treatment because of their immigration status?

(6) What should happen to people unable to demonstrate their immigration status, due to injury or incapacity?

(7) Should these standards be applied to minor children of illegal immigrants?

Originally published at jlake.com.

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Willis Couvillier
User: will_couvillier
Date: 2009-09-11 23:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My answer should cover this: any human regardless of any of the accepted criteria that we as Americans do not wish to be discriminated by should be able to have medical attention should the person be in an accident, become ill, or in any circumstance require it. Health is universal; attemding it should be as well.
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Brent Kellmer
User: skaldic
Date: 2009-09-11 23:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
1. No -- quite apart from the fact that most other countries don't do it, it becomes too much of a burden on the citizenry
2. Yes. Anything else is inhumane.
3. On a pay as you go basis, or at free clinics, sure. But not as part of the general health care system.
4. No. Health care status in emergency systems should not be used as a triage criteria. Non-emergency medical care should require a medical ID card, which should serve as secondary documentation for immigration status.
5. If refused it for non-emergency procedures, then the police should be called (if they were attempting to use false papers) or the INS. If refused it for emergency procedurs, then the medical professional responsible for refusing them should be subject to fine or suspension -- or if it results in the death of the individual, criminal charges.
6. They should be treated, regardless. Because presumably in such a situation, it is an emergency situation.
8. No. Minor children should always be treated, at least for emergency and preventative health care. True non-emergency procedures such as acne treatment, etc. should be provided, as these are elective. Caveat: if the minor child was born in the United States, then they are de facto US Citizens (United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 1898), and therefore should have a health system ID and had standard medical coverage.

IMHO
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User: saoba
Date: 2009-09-11 23:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
When people are hurt or sick, any decent society sees to it they have care. When there are preventative measures that can be taken to help prevent illness or disease it is of benefit to society as a whole to see to it those measures are taken.

The humane response to 'Ouch' is not 'Papers, please!'.

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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-09-11 23:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sure, they're from my bias. But it's a simple, factual issue. Should immigrants be given healthcare? That was the substance of Joe Wilson's shout out. Avoiding that question is stepping away from the first order implications of conservative convictions.
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miki garrison: bridge troll
User: mikigarrison
Date: 2009-09-11 23:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bridge troll
Yes, Yes, Yes, No, N/A, N/A, N/A

I don't think immigration status should factor into health care at all, and here are the many reasons why:

* There are plenty of illegal immigrants who pay more in taxes into the system every year than the average "legal" American. If we as a country are going to accept their tax money, then we should also allow them access to the benefits those taxes pay for.

* Likewise, if the country wants to crack down on illegal immigration, fine. But if instead we find it easier to take advantage of all the ways (not just in individual income taxes) in which those same illegal immigrants contribute benefits to our economy, then I consider it unethical to block them from accessing services available to other residents.

* Barring access to healthcare can end up costing us in the long-run -- in increased ER/hospital costs that end up being "eaten" by the hospitals (and thus subsidized by tax monies and the charges billed for other patients); in infectious conditions that spread in the general population; not to mention all the trickle down effects on various parts of the economy.

* There are too many situations right now in which illegal immigrant parents are afraid to take their US citizen children in for critically needed healthcare, out of fear that the hospital paperwork could lead to the parent's deportation. As a country, we should be better than that.

* Expecting healthcare providers to verify citizenship status is not only unrealistic in a wide variety of situations, it's just one more bureaucratic hoop that will push healthcare costs for *everyone* up that much higher.

* While I don't necessarily consider *all* services currently delivered under the label of "healthcare" to be a human right, I do think that making a certain level of basic healthcare available to all is a way of putting our money where our mouth is, when we talk about the value of human life and human dignity. Being "for life" is (or SHOULD be) at its core about being for the value and dignity of all life, in all stages -- and citizenship doesn't have an impact on someone's degree of human-ness.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2009-09-11 23:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. No
5. I don't know what "should" happen, but I know what will happen to someone refused treatment because of their immigration status. They'll die.
6. Nothing
7. Absolutely

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Kerry aka Trouble: Red Hat
User: controuble
Date: 2009-09-11 23:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Red Hat
Score 1 for Jay - he made me think.

I started to get all huffy reading #1 and #2 - they're illegal, why should they be entitled to something I am not? Most ERs I have been in have signs in multiple languages stating that no one will be denied emergency care in life-threatening situations regardless of their insurance status, especially if pregnant. I have no idea if care is denied in non-life-threatening cases or if no further care is given once the patient has stabilized.

Then I kept reading.

I do know that preventative care is much less expensive than going to the ER, but right now impossible to get without insurance or lots of cash.
I also know that #6 could frequently trump #4. Most citizens do not carry proof of citizenship on them, so how would a triage crew know - you certainly can't tell just by looking at someone.

I would be very interested in knowing how countries like Canada and the UK deal with those questions.
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2009-09-12 00:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No one can be refused care in an emergency room by law, even if they are there for a wart on their toe. They can be sent an enormous bill later, and most don't have a "home physician" for "follow up" care that they may need.

This won't change after health care reform. Illegal immigrants will continue to get care at emergency rooms, and their bills will be uncollectable. It probably doesn't make sense for the government to provide financial assistance to illegal immigrants for buying insurance under the Obama plan, but it does seem rather inhumane to expect them to abstain from basic nonemergency health care while we run our economy on their sweat.
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Warrior of Worry
User: warriorofworry
Date: 2009-09-11 23:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Compared to Rep. "I couldn't care less about how tacky it is to cat-call a sitting president (!)during a televised address", I must be a raving socialist.
I have a tremendous amount of trouble believing that our health care providers should stand in for U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (formerly INS).
Not to mention that I don't really see how your questions are "biased".
So, 1. No, except for kids. (see 7)
2. Yes. 3. If you mean, paid for by government, no, EXCEPT FOR THE CHILDREN. 4. No. 5. & 6.: see above. You can really haz medical care bureaucracy if providers spend their time checking on our citizenship status (ohh, the hair on the back of my neck just stood up). 7. The children are CHILDREN. Treat them. Anything else is too inhumane to contemplate.
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User: samildanach
Date: 2009-09-12 00:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I reject your premise and substitute my own: lower essentially all barriers to immigration. Welcome them in, sign them up, collect their taxes, educate them and their children, make them citizens -- and treat them as member-participants in a functioning healthcare system.
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cyborgsuzy: canter
User: cyborgsuzy
Date: 2009-09-12 01:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:canter
I'll have what he's having.
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Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2009-09-12 00:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"(2) Should illegal immigrants be entitled to emergency medical care? Yes WITH the understanding that upon release from care they are deported."

You know something, if public health authorities adopted your priorities, we'd be suffering a return of the plague.

Medical care isn't some "goodie" that you should be worrying about Illegal Brown People unjustly getting. Medical care is something you should want everyone in your vicinity to have access to SO WE DON'T ALL DIE FROM INFECTIOUS DISEASES THAT DON'T CARE WHO'S A CITIZEN OF WHAT COUNTRY.

Implementing the policies you suggest would kill the immuno-compromised people I love, you fucking moron.
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ygolonac
User: ygolonac
Date: 2009-09-12 01:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Health care should be a universal human right.
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A succulent breast dispensing good recommendations
User: yendi
Date: 2009-09-12 01:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
1. Yes. Doctors take an oath to do no harm (and related health professionals usually follow this guideline, too). Not treating the sick is a form of harm. And it's a form of harm to society as a whole.

2. Yes. Anyone who would let someone die when they have the opportunity to save them (short of a triage situation) is committing murder.

3. Yes. Preventative medicine, from a societal POV, will save more lives than emergency medicine. Why in the world would anyone even think of denying it to people?

4. No. If it's an ER, they need to be doing their job, which is practicing emergency medicine.

5. No such people should exist, making the question moot.

6. They should be treated. Does anyone -- even the anti-immigration nutjobs -- really want a state in which authorities can ask us to see our papers at any time?

7. Yes, of course.

7. Yes.

This is the easiest quiz I've ever seen on the net.
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Elspeth
User: evaleastaristev
Date: 2009-09-12 03:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My logic on saying yes to illegals having health care is rather simple, and has almost nothing to do with my political leanings.

If a disease gets loose in the population, and we only treat those whose immigration status/citizenship is legal, then what happens when the disease mutates in the illegal immigrant population and becomes potent enough to overcome the preventative measures in the legal population?
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bemused_leftist
User: bemused_leftist
Date: 2009-09-12 03:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I believe we should take care of everybody, including illegals.

If there are too many illegals up here (doing the jobs we don't want to do), that's a problem to be dealt with in other ways.

As for paying for caring for everyone -- maybe we could reclaim and use some of the 'Bailout' money that went to AIG etc.
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Mister Eclectic
User: howeird
Date: 2009-09-12 05:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll answer in one shot:
Everyone is entitled to emergency medical care, and everyone is entitled to pay for any and all medical services received.
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Rose Fox
User: rosefox
Date: 2009-09-12 16:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So illegal immigrants whose paychecks are taxed shouldn't have to pay more at the point of care, right?
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