ACTION: Stand up for immigration inclusion in health care!

This weekend, the Senate voted to open up debate on health care reform. Now is a critical time and with the possibility of compromises ahead, we want to make sure that immigrant inclusion is a part of any reform bill that goes to vote.

After the infamous Joe Wilson outburst last month, immigration has yet again become a flashpoint in the debate. At the moment, the Senate's version of the bill will include a bar for any undocumented immigrant to even purchase health insurance with their own money and no federal subsidies. This is something I still can't wrap my head around.

It [is] an insane argument on more than one level. Illegal immigrants are currently permitted to purchase a quart of milk at the corner grocery. Should that activity be banned, too? If an illegal immigrant showed up at an emergency room with a burst appendix, should that person be left to die? [via Slate]

When Congress and the administration allow the Joe Wilson's of the world to set the tone of the debate, it will be the most vulnerable populations that are thrown under the bus.

Today, at 4pm, FIRM groups NAKASEC &KRCLA are leading a rally in front of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's office to urge her to protect immigrant inclusion in health care reform.

We will have videos and pictures to update you throughout the day.

If you're in San Francisco, hit the streets to help support (details here). In the mean time, visit NAKASEC's blog to sign their petition to:

1.Make the federal government pay their fair share by removing their five year waiting period for legal immigrants in Medicaid and Medicare.

2.Make health reform affordable to everyone by allowing public access to purchase the public option in the new marketplace for health insurance.

3.Let everyone who subsidizes the health system to participate in it, and make informed health decisions, regardless of immigration status.

Sign the petition here.