Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Legal immigrants lose on health care in US

Samuel Goncalves, 23, has lung cancer, and was placed on a stripped-down health plan by the state in 2009 only because he is a "legal immigrant" and not "American". 

Copayments for treatment were unaffordable under the stripped-down plan.

The Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, enacted in 2006, mandates that nearly every resident of Massachusetts obtain a state-government-regulated minimum level of healthcare insurance coverage. Key provisions of the law were the subsidies that were available to those with low income.

In 2009 state lawmakers dropped at least 26,000 Legal immigrants from the program in order to save $130 million to balance the budget. Legal immigrants pay taxes the same as US citizens do, and should have the same rights and benefits as US citizens. Many Legal immigrants will become US citizens. Dropping legal immigrants from this program illustrates how marginalized they are becoming in the US.

This week the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the “state’s exclusion of thousands of legal immigrants from subsidized health coverage probably violates protections in the state constitution”. Legal immigrants may get health care back, but the outcome is not clear, and the state is still fighting against restoring health care to Legal immigrants.

Most disturbing are some of the comments. Many refer to the fact they are “native born” Americans. Several said “legal immigrants should go back to where they came from”.

I truly believe more and more Americans want Legal immigrants to go back to where they came from, and those who mention they are “native born” Americans do not believe that “naturalized” Americans are as American as they are.

The following comments are shocking, and prove that if you are not born in the USA you will never belong.

Valentine78 wrote:
I was born in the country as was my husband. I am 50 - my husband is 57. We have three children. I am presently unemployed and my COBRA payment is $1,557.00/MONTH. Please spare me the sob stories about immigrants (legal or illegal)whining about how high their co-pays are.

Fidd wrote:
Because he's an immigrant we have to pick up the tab. Sorry about his condition but there are natural born Americans also paying high co-payments. Evidently he's is also on the dole collecting other Massachusetts benefits for immigrants. Massacusetts can't get anything straight, except corruption.

doggman wrote:
Don't wait for "your turn" on my dime. Get out!

j33dow wrote:
Leave OUR country and go back to you native land. We owe you NOTHING!!!

alsharp456 wrote:
not trying to be a racist but these immigrants are really starting to get on my last nerve,and the americans who hire and falsify documents to save millions rather then pay an american a living wage,we need to not let anymore immigrants over here we have enough there are no more jobs sorry go home and stop having unprotected sex and bringing babies in to poverty

BillSaysVoteThemOutNow wrote:
"These are *LEGAL* immigrants."So what. They are just more leeches who come here and never, or for a short-term, paid into the system. They just continue to bleed the system for "real Americans" so our health care suffers and our retirement age has to be raised so they can "follow their dream".To hell with them.

Sadly, I came to believe that it did not matter that I was a "legal" immigrant, and later a "naturalized" American - there were many who viewed me as "not really American" and voiced that I didn't really belong in the US.


Samuel's medical coverage was dropped only because he was a legal immigrant, as as a direct result, he died.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tectonic shift in Canadian politics

So, this week we got 4 more years of a Harper Government. While I’m not happy that Harper won, watching the liberals and the NDP jockeying for second position during this week’s election returns was certainly not boring.

The liberals suffered the worst defeat since the beginning of, well, Canada. In a historical first, the NDP (New Democratic Party) is now the official opposition party instead of the Liberals. At the same time the NDP decimated the dominant party in Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois, reducing their seats from 48 to 4. Canada is the only country I know of that has a political party that exists solely to break up the country. It even sounds like fun – “let’s ‘ave a Bloc party and break up the country”. So, if Giles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc, had won he would have said something like this “Well, my first job as Prime Minister of Canada is, well, to have Quebec separate from Canada” – only he would have said it in French.

Now that Quebec has made the political shift from a separatist Bloc Quebecois to a federalist NDP, does that mean that Quebec has opted back into Canada, or will the threat of separation remain an issue?

Here’s a curious issue, several of the newly elected NDP MPs in Quebec ridings do not speak French fluently. If they want to hold on to their seats they will need to improve their French. Rosetta Stone anyone?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Election day in Canada

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it is to vote in Canada.

In the States the ballot is lengthy. You are voting for the President, local Judges, Sheriffs, amendments to constitutions. It seems everything is thrown on to that ballot, and it's very confusing for most people so I think they skip most of it.

In Canada the ballot is very short. One does not vote directly for a Prime Minister, but chooses from a list of candidates running for MP (Member of Parliament) from your electoral district, or riding. The next Prime Minister will be the candidate that has the most MPs in their party elected. The voting process is very simple, the ballot has about 7 or 8 names, just find the candidate you want, place an x next to your pick, place the ballot in the box and voila - you're done!

It took less than 5 minutes, including parking.

If you are Canadian and you haven't voted yet - go out and vote!