creators.com opinion web
Conservative Opinion General Opinion
Froma Harrop
Froma Harrop
23 Oct 2014
Canada Can Be Tough on Immigration

Two years ago, Jeffrey Niehaus was a popular teacher at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. An American,… Read More.

21 Oct 2014
'Death with Dignity' Law Is Least Slippery Slope

The story of Brittany Maynard has revived the debate over Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. The law lets … Read More.

16 Oct 2014
Why Millennials Don't Drive So Much

Young Americans are just not into driving the way their elders are or did at their age. They are less likely … Read More.

Immigration and 前bamacare' Join as Issue

Comment

Two of the hottest topics on the political circuit are illegal immigration and "Obamacare." They can come together into a third steaming discussion: How the Democrats' Affordable Care Act of 2010 would hasten America's journey toward a more orderly immigration program.

As a recent article in Health Affairs predicts, once the health care reforms settle in, undocumented immigrants will become the largest share of the uninsured. As legal residents enjoy universal coverage, those without would be more noticed. (The authors are Stephen Zuckerman, Timothy A. Waidmann and Emily Lawton, all of the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center.)

Contrary to much propaganda hurled at the Affordable Care Act, the law guaranteeing coverage to all Americans excludes illegal immigrants. It does not let them join the expanded Medicaid program for the poor. It denies them low-income subsidies to purchase coverage through the health-insurance exchanges. It even bars them from buying affordable coverage through the exchanges with their own money.

Illegal immigrants might avoid enrolling their native-born children, who are citizens, in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, the article suggests. While helping these children obtain the medical care they are entitled to may be the right thing to do, it's undeniable that Affordable Care Act restrictions shrink one incentive for coming to this country illegally.

Experience suggests that illegal immigrants generally do not try or succeed in joining public programs. For families with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, there's been little difference in private coverage rates. But the gap in public coverage is "dramatic." Within this low-income group, one in four native-born Americans and one in five legal permanent residents find coverage through a government program. Only one in 10 of the undocumented immigrants does.

It's a hard reality that the United States can't supply American-style health services to any poor person who crosses the border.

No country could. Even many Americans can't afford American-style health care — a national disgrace that Obamacare seeks to remedy. Canada unapologetically patrols its government programs against unauthorized users, and so must we.

To quote the conservative economist Milton Friedman, "It's just obvious that you can't have free immigration and a welfare state."

Obvious, yes, though I wish Friedman had used a less loaded word than "welfare." Extending health care security, supported by government subsidies, is one way America can ease some of the growing inequalities pounding its working class. The elderly enjoy government-guaranteed medical coverage, as do prisoners and the poor. We don't call Medicare "welfare," even though it requires huge transfers of taxpayer money. Why should the working poor — whether native born or legal immigrant — be the only ones left in the cold?

The Affordable Care Act might speed up "self-deportation," whereby a tougher environment for illegal immigrants prompts some to return home. (That's already happening due to a weak labor market and recent stepped-up application of the immigration laws.)

Ideally, strict enforcement would be paired with a last-time amnesty for otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants already here. Many have deep roots in this country, and their American-born children know no other. These people would be folded into the health care program.

The Affordable Care Act, "Obamacare" or whatever you want to call it, is essential to America's well-being on several fronts. It will help curb rising health care costs. It will round some sharp edges in our freewheeling capitalistic system: No longer will loss of job mean loss of health coverage as well. And for those staunchly worried over immigration, it will darken the line between legal and not legal.

Conservatives opposed to illegal immigration should reconsider their vows to kill off the health care reforms.

To find out more about Froma Harrop, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL CO.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

3 Comments | Post Comment
------'90's Show' DIS---tractions.
MEANWHILE
"It's NOW OPEN ---they've been covertly
saturating the entire food chain with GMO
food for decades now. ---Decades!"
And this as we learn 3rd generation, unrepentant,
Rockefeller arch EUGENIST Bill Gates is now
the 'biggest player' in Monsanto --the company
working on all this.
GMO --known to cause organ failure, cancer,
obesity, diabetes ---and, absolutely confirmed,
TOTAL STERILITY in mammals by the third generation.
----WE ARE into almost a generation and a half now.

----GET WITH THE DE-PROGRAM ------FAST!

---------------------THIS IS GENOCIDE------------------------
Comment: #1
Posted by: Pow wow
Wed Feb 1, 2012 9:56 PM
Don't believe anything a liberal says about "obamacare", they lie through their teeth and then do what they want. There are death panels being formed, and you better not need brain surgery after the age of 69. They laughed at Palin and called her a fool, the liars, while these ethics boards were in the works. Cost containment will be more important than your health, covering non-citizens will become a priority above aiding people over a certain age. Republicans are untrustworthy, but liberals are outright liars. This one is amongst the worst. There are death panels, so believe nothing a liberal says.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Tom
Thu Feb 2, 2012 4:54 AM
The health care in the USA is magnificent. Obamacare is about destroying insurance companies. Immigrants follow the law and apply for entry into The USA. Illegal aliens invade our Country and by definition are criminals. The term "illegal immigrant" is a lie. Stop promoting nonsense.
Comment: #3
Posted by: David Henricks
Fri Feb 3, 2012 6:29 AM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Froma Harrop
Oct. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Jill Lawrence
Jill LawrenceUpdated 23 Oct 2014
Froma Harrop
Froma HarropUpdated 23 Oct 2014
Jim Hightower
Jim HightowerUpdated 22 Oct 2014

23 May 2014 Fight Heroin With Marijuana

1 Mar 2011 The Left Wing Needs an Update

21 Jun 2011 High-Tech, High-Touch: Back to the Future