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Thread: Budget woes cut health care for illegal immigrants

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Budget woes cut health care for illegal immigrants

    Budget woes cut health care for illegal immigrants

    (03-15) 16:17 PDT SACRAMENTO (AP) --
    Graciela Barrios, an undocumented immigrant, has long relied on her Sacramento County health clinic for the advice, medication and tests that keep her diabetes under control.

    But next month, Barrios and thousands like her will be on their own as communities cut non-emergency health services to illegal immigrants and more local governments are forced to make similar decisions. Nearby Contra Costa County will vote Tuesday on whether to cut services to the 5,000 illegal immigrants they serve each year.

    "The general situation there is being faced by nearly every health department across the country, and if not right now, shortly," said Robert M. Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

    Data on health care for unauthorized immigrants is hard to come by, because community clinics and hospitals usually do not ask patients for their immigration status. But the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that of the 11.9 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, about 59 percent have no health insurance. That accounts for about 15 percent of the nation's approximately 47 million uninsured.

    As the financial crisis takes a toll on local health systems and job losses spike the number of uninsured, health care providers are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the needs of those they serve, said Pestronk.
    More than half of local health departments across the country laid off or lost employees in 2008, according to a survey in January by the health officials association. About one-third predicted layoffs in 2009.
    In Sacramento County, such cuts at first meant closing three of six clinics. In February, with less money and more patients, county supervisors and health officials had to decide: close one more clinic — laying off up to 40 staffers to save $2.4 million — or cut services to the approximately 4,000 illegal immigrants treated annually.

    "It was very difficult ethically for me," said Keith Andrews, head of primary health services at the county's Department of Health and Human Service. "People I've been caring for for years will be hurt."
    Contra Costa County officials are doing the same hard math: if they vote to cut services, they will save about $6 million.
    After letting go of social workers, cutting mental health services and watching a delivery room built to handle 120 births a month accommodate 240, there were few other options, said Contra Costa Health Services Director William Walker.

    "We've never had this crisis before," said Walker, who submitted the plan being voted on Tuesday. "We've tried to carefully slice what we thought we could without cutting off our ability to respond. Now we're looking at bad choices among bad choices."

    Counties may legally cut services to illegal immigrants. Although hospitals receiving Medicaid funds must provide emergency care for anyone who needs it, there is no law requiring health care providers to offer primary care.

    Health officials and immigrant advocates say they do not know how many local health systems provide primary care to undocumented immigrants. Officials note that many hospitals and clinics do not ask a patient's immigration status, in part because treating chronic conditions such as asthma and hypertension keeps patients from emergency room visits that are far less effective and more expensive.

    The fraying of the safety net provided by local health systems could have serious consequences — not only for illegal immigrants, who are among the most vulnerable, but for the rest of the population, said Sonal Ambegaokar, health policy attorney at National Immigration Law Center.
    "Cutting care, you save $100 today, but you may end spending $500 tomorrow when that person shows up in the emergency room because you didn't provide them with basic medication," said Ambegaokar. "It's shortsighted."

    Asking local health officials to verify immigration status also is problematic, said Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

    "The devil's in the details. Asking county workers to act as immigration officials puts them in a difficult position," she said.

    For Barrios, the economic crisis has already hit home. The same economic forces that slashed Sacramento County's sales and property tax revenues also took her husband's job in a landscaping firm, and the family's bills are piling up, she said.

    "I have no insurance, no resources, nothing to fall back on," said Barrios, who has one daughter. "I have no idea what I will do."

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    If illegal aliens want healthcare paid for by taxpayers, then they can become legal tax paying citizens and start paying into it. Or, at the very least, become citizens.

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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    Excellent. I don't want to be paying for the diabetes care of an obese (I'm assuming), illegal alien.

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    Well yeah, about time.

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    There is a difference between being an illegal alien and a citizen. It is called legal resident. I am a legal resident and pay any and all taxes. I'm here legally and the only thing I can't do is vote and serve on a jury. Ask any legal resident or someone who became a citizen how they feel about illegal aliens and you will get an earful.
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

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    If illegal aliens want healthcare paid for by taxpayers, then they can become legal tax paying citizens and start paying into it. Or, at the very least, become citizens.

    Many can't become citizens due to their illegal status, hence the discussions about mass-amnesty for illegals. Me, I wouldn't want it on my conscience that I put money ahead of humanity.
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    Elite Member suede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    Many can't become citizens due to their illegal status, hence the discussions about mass-amnesty for illegals. Me, I wouldn't want it on my conscience that I put money ahead of humanity.
    Scamming public assistance is game in my neck of the woods by illegal aliens and hospitals are shutting down in large number due to lack of money in the budget. The remaining hospitals have take up the slack and consider where to cut their budget and I would rather see the illegals lose their coverage than see senior staff lose their jobs to be replaced with someone cheaper and with less experience.
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    The quickest way to get that revenue back would be to make everyone pay taxes, whether they are here legally or not. And there are a lot of illegals scamming the system...worked for a plant nursery for a while, half of their work force was illegals, and most of the women had kids or where pregnant so they could have an anchor baby.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    Many can't become citizens due to their illegal status, hence the discussions about mass-amnesty for illegals. Me, I wouldn't want it on my conscience that I put money ahead of humanity.
    Then they should've come into the country legally, instead of sneaking in like thieves in the night. And the way I see it, you've got American citizens, adults and children, who can't afford healthcare, so why should somebody who is here illegally get free healthcare over people who are taxpaying citizens?

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    If illegal aliens want healthcare paid for by taxpayers, then they can become legal tax paying citizens and start paying into it. Or, at the very least, become citizens.
    exactly, i hope obama does something about this w/in his presidency. secure our borders and legalize those here.

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    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    I've been doing community service work with our local migrant workers (So. California) and they are super nice.... and we know they are here illegally, but one of the guys told me they buy social security cards off the LUNCH TRUCK that comes by the fields everyday.

    I know they do that shit, but it's 100% out in the open and everyone knows to buy a SSN from the local lunch truck.

    WTF? This shit is way to easy....


    Anyway, I can't say I feel bad for the illegal immigrants that are losing their free health coverage.

    I am a citizen and a tax payer, and I don't have any health insurance at all. No one is helping me out!

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    If you want the Govmint (aka taxpayers) to subsidise your healthcare, education or other welfare benefits then become a taxpayer yourself by obtaining legal residency at least, maybe even citizenship. Easy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    I've been doing community service work with our local migrant workers (So. California) and they are super nice.... and we know they are here illegally, but one of the guys told me they buy social security cards off the LUNCH TRUCK that comes by the fields everyday.

    I know they do that shit, but it's 100% out in the open and everyone knows to buy a SSN from the local lunch truck.

    WTF? This shit is way to easy....
    I think the Social Security Administration just rolled out a new system that provides fast verification of social security #'s submitted on a job application. In the past, it appears that employers were allowed to accept the card if it looked real enough, and the number was never checked. Now, I believe that loophole is being closed. Most employers don't want to be on the record of submitting a false # for verification and then keeping that employee on the payroll. So, the lunch truck thing is not going to work much longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Then they should've come into the country legally, instead of sneaking in like thieves in the night. And the way I see it, you've got American citizens, adults and children, who can't afford healthcare, so why should somebody who is here illegally get free healthcare over people who are taxpaying citizens?
    ITA. If I think the ER looks like a damn third world country now, I can't wait until the 'freebies' the illegals receive get cut off and the ONLY option they have is the ER. Ughhh...get the eff out if you don't want to be a citizen!!!
    I'm not quite drunk enough to really care, but is this her violation of her violation of her violation of her violation of probation or her violation of her violation of her violation of her probation????? ~MontanaMama on LL's latest arrest.

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    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nana55 View Post
    There is a difference between being an illegal alien and a citizen. It is called legal resident. I am a legal resident and pay any and all taxes. I'm here legally and the only thing I can't do is vote and serve on a jury. Ask any legal resident or someone who became a citizen how they feel about illegal aliens and you will get an earful.
    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Then they should've come into the country legally, instead of sneaking in like thieves in the night. And the way I see it, you've got American citizens, adults and children, who can't afford healthcare, so why should somebody who is here illegally get free healthcare over people who are taxpaying citizens?
    ITA. This makes me see red. The fact is that they are getting free healthcare and the rest of us pick up the tab. Cry me a river. My husband is a legal resident like you nana, he is entrusted with all the rights of a citizen minus voting and jury duty. He diligently pays taxes, he would be deported if he didn't. People like to think its SO hard to do the right thing, but its not. He gets PISSED when he sees illegal aliens sponging off the system when he did things the right way. Its like a smack in the face.
    Women ain't gonna let a thing like sense fuck up their argument. - Chris Rock

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