My cranky Saturday continues with an issue that I increasingly find bewildering: the tolerance, denial, and enabling by so many Americans of illegal immigration, although its unethical character cannot be denied or argued away. I know why Democrats support it—pure electoral cynicism—and I know why the business community encourages it—greed. What I don’t comprehend is why anyone else with a modicum of logic, fairness, and common sense isn’t confronting both of these self-serving institutions and demanding real enforcement of anti-illegal immigration measures. Instead, we get outrageous legislation like the Maryland Dream Act, which institutionalizes incentives for aliens to defy our laws.
What provoked my latest wave of nausea over this problem is a recent report that hospitals across California absorb roughly $1.25 billion a year in uncompensated care for illegal immigrants, according to a state hospital association. The association, being from California and hence demented, is citing the figures to demand more federal funding for uncompensated care. How about citing the figures as proof positive that the U.S. immigration non-policy is irresponsible and destructive beyond belief? Well, they don’t have to do that, really. The figures speak for themselves, except for pro-illegal immigration advocates who are sticking their fingers in their ears and humming.
Why should citizen patients and their insurance companies be forced to pay increased costs for hospital services that include the added costs of caring for other nations’ sick? Why should American taxpayers? By what Bizarro World reasoning is it appropriate for the individuals who violate laws and forge documents to reach and remain in America to have free health care, paid for by law abiding citizens?
Go ahead La Raza, take your best shot. Tell us.
U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (R- California) contends the answer isn’t in providing more money for hospitals, but rather in reducing the illegal immigrant population. What a remarkable concept! Who would have thought of such a thing? This position, of course, makes him a xenophobe, a racist…and sane. Rohrabacher has sponsored legislation that would require hospitals receiving federal money to care for illegal immigrants to report those patients to immigration authorities. Naturally, it was voted down: it makes too much sense.
“As long as we’re providing benefits, more and more of them will come to get the benefits. You can’t blame them for that,” Rohrabacher says. Yes, they have a dream.
Leaders of the American Hospital Association and California Hospital Association said the law allows hospitals to ask patients about immigration status, but few, if any, choose to do so.”Most hospitals feel it is their mission to take care of anyone coming through the door. They don’t want to discourage anyone from care that is needed,” said Carla Luggiero, senior associate director for federal relations at the American Hospital Association. “We do not feel it’s our job to be pseudo border patrol agents.”
Fine. Then don’t come crying for government funding when the costs of caring for immigration cheats getting a free-ride from the health care system keep growing, which they are. Yes, hospitals shouldn’t turn anyone away. But making an honest admission of citizenship status an absolute requirement for free care is neither unfair nor inhumane. If you want hospital care you can’t pay for, then fine—you’ll get the care, but your next hospital visit is going to be where you are a citizen. What is inhumane, unfair, or unjust about that?
Oh, right. They have a dream. Well, so do a lot of American citizens, and their dream isn’t going to be helped by hospitals having to cut the quality of service to paying patients because the are losing billions taking care of scofflaws.
Will requiring full disclosure of immigration status as a condition of care discourage illegal immigrants from seeking heath care at American hospitals? I hope not, but if it does, it is their choice. Will such a policy make illegal immigration less attractive? I hope so.
If California, and any other state, are all misty-eyed about illegal immigrants and feel they should have a right to free education, free use of the roads and infrastructure, jobs and health care, let their taxpayers pay for the results of their destructive and foolish beliefs. The federal government should not help one bit.
It has enough of its own destructive and foolish beliefs to pay for.
Thus ends Cranky Saturday at Ethics Alarms.
I’ll be in a better mood Sunday.