Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Certain Immigrants conveniently omitted from Massachusetts Universal Healthcare Coverage

The New York Times has reported that under the Massachusetts universal health care plan certain lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) will be singled out and will be charged higher premiums, their health benefits will be sharply curtailed, and they will have to rely on hospitals that provide free emergency care to the poor, despite the fact they will have government provided universal health insurance.

The plan will further restrict the coverage of 31,000 legal immigrants from the benefit of dental coverage, end of life hospice care, or skilled-nursing care. Governor Deval Patrick lauded the new program as "an extraordinary accomplishment".

Teddy Kennedy must be rolling over in his grave.

This is what you call health care rationing. Massachusetts universal health care coverage is a little preview of what life may be like for certain lawful permanent residents should a public option be implemented nationwide. So don't let anyone fool you into thinking that there will not be health care rationing under a nationally implemented "public option", especially when it comes to immigrants. It is inevitable, as proven by the State of Massachusetts.

If the State of Massachusetts can openly discriminate against one group of individuals (legal immigrants) under their State run universal health care plan and have the gall to call the program "an extraordinary accomplishment", it does not take a leap of faith to believe that the Federal Government would also discriminate against legal immigrants should the need arise (i.e., budget shortfalls).

Now I'm not saying that our health care system is perfect. It is far from it, and reform is 100% absolutely necessary. That being said, the answer to the health care question is not more government. What we all can agree on is that health care needs to be affordable, but there has to be a way to make it affordable without requiring the creation of another monolithic government bureaucracy to oversee a public option.

I deal with one of the existing administrative agencies for a living, and guess what; even the President says that the existing administrative agency that oversees our immigration laws is "broken". What makes you think that a government run health care system won't also be just as completely inefficient and ineffective? Bureaucracies, by their very definition are a system of administrations marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation. Bureaucracies live to feed themselves, not the people. They have never been and will never be the answer.

Now I'm no expert on health care, nor do I play one on TV, but if I were writing health care reform legislation I would address the following key areas.

For starters, the price of prescription drugs needs to be regulated so that people can actually afford their medication.

Secondly, meaningful tort reform must be enacted so that doctors don't feel the need to order 5,000 unnecessary and expensive tests to diagnose a common cold without fear of losing their license.

Third, private employers must be given significant tax incentives for providing their employees with health care coverage. I would rather have a small business person take the money that they already have to pay the government in tax dollars, and have it go towards covering their employees with health insurance. Either way the money is spent, but this way the employer feels good about him/herself, the employees are happy because they have care, and the government ends up saving money because more people are covered by health insurance.

Fourth, make members of Congress pay for their own health insurance. This is more of a symbolic gesture. In most instances our representatives are multi-millionaires, and the taxpayer should not be underwriting a bunch of bloated fat cats in Washington who can afford to pay for their own insurance.

And lastly, and most importantly, real competition must be introduced to enable individuals to purchase health care plans across State lines so that prices come down. Let the free market correct itself through real competition. Let the Progressives, and Geicos of the world have at health insurance, and allow for the scaling of coverage so that a 25 year-old healthy nonsmoker with no preexisting conditions, and no adverse familial history can pay a nominal rate for coverage that will protect them in the event of a catastrophic injury.

And now back to your regularly scheduled immigration blog.

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