To ensure that the US healthcare system is adequately protected from illegal immigrants, a law was passed in the 1990’s to limit the access to the healthcare system. Many people in the US feel that the healthcare system is being overburdened with illegal immigrants using the healthcare system and the insurance programs available. The immigrants consume a large number of resources in the healthcare sector (which is hugely unaccounted). Most of the illegal immigrants utilize the facilities in the US healthcare system free of cost. The problem of shortage in human resources in the healthcare sector and the high rising costs of providing healthcare services is basically created from illegal immigrants using the healthcare facilities. The legislatives have imposed strict policies that would ensure that illegal immigrants cannot misuse the US healthcare system.
A majority of the illegal immigrant population in the US reside in the states of California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Arizona. These populations usually have a very low standard of living and a very poor quality of life. They are cannot afford any healthcare facilities. Not providing proper healthcare facilities would mean that these migrants would have to visit the emergency care facilities and hence the spending on healthcare would further rise.
The stakeholder for the provision of healthcare to the illegal immigrants includes several parties including:-
Governmental and Non-governmental organizations
The US healthcare system – Which including several governmental and non-governmental organizations and several healthcares professionals
Minority groups – Including Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, etc
Minority Welfare groups – Which can arrange provision of healthcares facilities for the minority groups
The US legislatives including the state and the federal governments who could frame policies for the benefit of the illegal immigrant groups
Government’s Role and Legislative substantiation
In the year 1996, the government came up with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which imposes a 5-year ban for immigrants who wish to use the healthcare facilities under Medicaid and other programs. This statute was extended to children in the year 1997. In the year 2005, the Deficit Reduction Act was imposed which requires that a proof of US citizenship needs to be provided in order to apply for Medicaid scheme. However, in several parts of the US, healthcare facilities are not provided to the legal immigrants, which is an issue which basically arises from illegal immigrants abusing the healthcare system.
Economically aliens seem to be negatively affecting the US scenario.
The US healthcare sector is hugely capitalism-driven. The quality of care provided is high. Providing healthcare to illegal migrants may in turn increase the need to lower spending in other sectors of healthcare and hence reduce the quality of care provided. In the state of California itself, more than 1.4 billion dollars was spent in 2004 to provide illegal immigrants healthcare. In Colorado and Minnesota, 31 million and 17 million was spent respectively.
Many people feel that providing free healthcare to aliens would be an abuse of the taxpayer’s money. It would be unfair to ignore the people who are paying taxes and instead provide free healthcare to those who have not contributed anything.
The money spend on providing healthcare facilities to the illegal migrants can be utilized on more needy sectors including providing healthcare to documented immigrants, elders and lower socio-economic groups. Every year billions of dollars are spend on healthcare for undocumented immigrants. Frequently, it is found that the illegal immigrants are young and usually disease-free, not placing them in the list of high priority groups needing healthcare.
A majority of the illegal immigrants are not insured, as they cannot afford to spend on healthcare. A study found that about 60 % of the illegal Hispanics did not have proper insurance, which was 25 % for the legal immigrants and 14 % for the US citizens.
Benefits to Society
There may be several social reasons as to why aliens should not be provided free healthcare facilities in the US.
1. A huge chunk of the illegal immigrants in the US are Mexicans who come from across the border. Not providing them with a regular healthcare facility would ensure that they would legalize and document their immigration and not pose a security problem to the nation.
2. Groups that provide help to immigrants would get together and provide programs that would ensure provision of preventive care to the individual rather than waiting to provide the much costlier emergency and inpatient care
3. It may be very difficult for the nation to provide healthcare for the immigrants when about 40 million of the US citizens do not have a proper healthcare insurance scheme for their coverage.
4. The taxpayer’s money would be put to better use (helping to provide the taxpayer benefits, rather than to people who did not contribute)
5. Greater amounts of benefits to US citizens who do not have health insurance (about 14 % of the US citizens do not have proper health insurance).
Outcomes and Results
Excluding minority groups from free healthcare coverage would have several results:-
They would suffer serious healthcare problems, as their healthcare needs would not be addressed
They would not receive and ambulatory care and hence are liable to suffer from serious health problems meaning provision of emergency care which may be far costlier than routine healthcare
The quality of healthcare provided to US citizens can be improved further as no limitations would exist
The taxpayer’s money would be spent on higher priority sectors including provision of care to the uninsured and the legal migrants. The 40 million US citizens who do not have proper insurance would now be covered.
There would be a decrease in the illegal migrations thus helping to reduce several hazards including terrorism, drug trafficking, flesh trade, etc.
The need for human resources in the healthcare sector would reduce
The illegal immigrants would try to concentrate on getting preventive care at their level
They would be a felt need by the illegal migrants to document their immigration in order to obtain better facilities in the US.
Quality of Life
If aliens are not provided health insurance, it would help improve the quality of life of the US citizens and the legal migrants:-
The quality of healthcare can be improved for the Americans, which could health to improve the quality of life.
An increase on the funding for the healthcare for the US citizens would not only enable providing of emergency and ambulatory care, but would also ensure that preventive care, lifestyle modifications and wellness programs can be provided.
At present, the aliens are leading a very poor quality of life. If are provided healthcare under the usual healthcare system, it would not help to improve their quality of life, but would start deteriorating the quality of life of the US citizens. Hence, aliens have to be provided healthcare under more accountable system.