Illegal Aliens Have The Right To Healthcare

1936 words - 8 pages

Everyday people are sent to the hospital. Not only are they in fear of losing their life but also in fear of being in debt due to the prices of health care treatment they need. But what if this patient happens to be an illegal alien? What if the patient has a foreign illness that needs to be cured so it does not spread? Should healthcare providers continue to provide (s) he with treatment even if they cannot pay? Or should illegal aliens be treated just like any other patients by having a right to health care?
Illegal aliens are net consumers of public services and they contribute to economic growth (Immigrants’ Economic Contributions, 2009). Since 1990, immigrants have contributed to job growth in three main ways: They fill an increasing share of jobs overall, they take jobs in labor-scarce regions, and they fill the types of jobs native workers often shun. The foreign-born make up only 15.6 percent of the U.S. population and 23.9 percent of the labor force (The Foreign-Born Labor Force in the United States, 2009).When you do the math, it makes a good deal of sense to spend the little that we do—if not more—to keep them healthy (Karvounis, 2007). Care for undocumented immigrants represents a tiny fraction of the nation’s health care burden. They receive minimal care; some pay taxes. Between one half and three quarters of undocumented immigrants pay taxes and some work “off the books” jobs as well (What Immigration Reform Could Mean to the US Economy, 2009). Illegal aliens provide as much as 7 billion dollars a year to the Social Security Fund although they cannot claim benefits for this program (Immigrants’ Economic Contribution, 2009). Further still, undocumented workers pay sales taxes where applicable and property taxes—directly if they own and indirectly if they rent (Undocumented Immigrants as Taxpayers, 2007).
Through research, it has been proven that unauthorized immigrants do not come to the United States for health care benefits or any other public services for which they are not eligible (Waslin, 2009). What the illegal aliens want are jobs that will potentially give them a higher wage in comparison to the country they came from. To effectively weigh whether providing health care to immigrants should be considered a right or privilege, one would have to consider how much they contribute to economic growth. A Pew study from last year showed that undocumented immigrants add 600,000 to 700,000 new consumers to the economy every year. Since consumption makes up 70 percent of economic activity in the U.S., this is important (and of course, more consumption means more sales tax revenue). Immigration is also expected to account for one-forth of the Census Bureau’s estimated labor force growth through 2012. Some economic estimates gauge that undocumented immigrants contribute $22 billion, in total, to the economy each year—a number that would increase if they were given the opportunity to become legal (Karvounis, 2007). This evidence...

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