While there is a lot of national attention on the health care debate at the moment, we shouldn’t forget that immigration and health care intersect in various and meaningful ways. Health care reform that doesn’t include access for immigrants would be a loss for the whole country. From NCLR:
…the positive impact of several reform proposals on the table may be undermined by additional measures that would severely restrict access to health coverage by mandating new, expensive verification and documentation procedures. “This debate should be about health care for all, and setting the nation on a pathway to future health and well-being. Adding layers of immigrant verification and bureaucratic red tape to a new health care system would guarantee that millions of citizen children are effectively barred from accessing preventive care and would raise the cost of health care,” Murguía noted.
“For this reason, we are extremely concerned that some view health reform as a way to scapegoat immigrants,” Murguía continued. “We agree that the immigration system needs to be fixed, but address that problem separately through immigration reform. The best way to reduce costs in our health care system is to ensure that people do not have to follow a long paper trail to get to the doctor and that everyone shares the costs of a new system. Making health care easier to use and accessible for all workers and children is simple common sense.”
Let’s hope that as the health care debate moves forward, a common-sense and inclusive approach is taken.