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.