Even though, by law, the Affordable Care Act does not extend healthcare to undocumented immigrants, counties throughout the United States do provide healthcare to them—at a cost of $1 billion per year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A Wall Street Journal survey of the 25 U.S. counties with the largest unauthorized immigrant populations found that 20 of them have programs that pay for the low-income uninsured to have doctor visits, shots, prescription drugs, lab tests and surgeries at local providers. The services usually are inexpensive or free to participants, who must prove they live in the county but are told their immigration status doesn’t matter.
Whether such programs are appropriate is a matter of debate. Many voters believe it is unfair to use tax dollars to help immigrants when American citizens struggle, and that doing so encourages illegal immigration. At the same time, American hospitals have long been required by law to screen and stabilize any patient, regardless of his or her ability to pay, which means taxpayers already are committed to paying for care in its most expensive setting. [Emphasis added.]
According to the WSJ, illegals account for one-quarter of the approximately 30 million of the nation’s uninsured.
Local critics contend the county should support immigration enforcement rather than undermine it. Brad Botwin, a local opponent of illegal immigration, objects to the cost of the county health program. “They can’t fix the roads. The metro system is absolutely falling apart. But they have the money to put up these health benefits,” he says.
Ironically, if elected, Hillary Clinton wants to extend ObamaCare to all undocumented immigrants, according to her daughter Chelsea.
Read the whole WSJ article here.