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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Covering Undocumented Workers -- How Does This Not Make Sense?

By Keith R. Schmitz

From Joe Klein at Time about The President's speech from last night:
On this whole question of whether illegal immigrants will be included in the plan, which caused the vile Congressman from South Carolina to shout "You lie" when the President said they wouldn't be covered. Why shouldn't they be? After all, when an illegal immigrant cuts his hand while chopping cabbage and goes to the emergency room, the rest of us pay for it. Isn't the point to expand the risk pool as much as possible, to lure the insurance companies into concessions and lower prices?

I kn0w it 's not going to happen. Congress will never vote to subsidize the health care of those who arrived here illegally. But, given the fact that we're already subsidizing them through the back door, it does make sense, doesn't it?
I've wondered about that myself.

In the other democracies such as the UK and France I've heard stories about American visitors needing medical care and getting it for practically next to nothing. Now if these countries who are delivering health care at around 2/3rds our cost and doing it better can provide that kind of coverage, how does this argument make us look?

This may be another case where we chop off our noses to spite our collective faces. I may be proven wrong very shortly, but none of us has the stomach or lack of character to not have an undocumented treated if they run into a medical problem.

But of course this so-called issue is being used by the opposition to distract people and get them all worked up so they don't think about the big picture.

As was pointed out last night, we all pay when someone has to check into an emergency room and does not have the means to pay for treatment. Worse, if the pending flu becomes an epidemic, not providing treatment to everyone will come at a hell of a cost.

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