Quantcast
Connect with us

Democrats shouldn’t be ashamed of supporting healthcare for immigrants

Published

on

Thanks for your support!
This article was paid for by reader donations to Raw Story Investigates.

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

Terry H. Schwadron
Terry H. Schwadron

Both political parties have been making much ado in the weeks since the Democratic debates about candidates holding up their hands affirmatively to say that migrants entering the country even illegally should be able to get health treatment.

Donald Trump and Republican followers more generally have been vocal in ridiculing this thought, labeling these ideas as favoring “open borders” and running counter to all that is American traditions. To Trump, the idea of Democrats showing some sense of empathy is weakness of backbone and blindness to the major immigration disaster facing the United States from illegal crossings of the border.

ADVERTISEMENT

That’s why he wants a Wall, military deployments, family separations, an end to asylum laws as we have known them, an increase in border patrols, and raids on homes where undocumented immigrants may be living in cities across the country.

Hospitals must medically screen all persons seeking emergency care and provide the treatment necessary, regardless of payment method or insurance status.

But something has sounded tinny here. Every hospital I have entered has signs that say that while they ask for proof of insurance, they will not turn anyone away.

So, I checked. We already provide this kind of emergency care, have done so for years – and the government reimburses hospitals for doing so.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hey, Trump, Raise Your Hand

Perhaps the president should join those on the Democratic stage raising his hand.

Here is the what the government already says is the law for “emergency health services for undocumented aliens,” part of the Medicare modernization act.

ADVERTISEMENT

Undocumented aliens’ use of medical services has been a long-standing issue for hospitals, particularly among those located along the U.S.-Mexican border. As required by federal law (The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act or EMTALA), hospitals participating in Medicare must medically screen all persons seeking emergency care and provide the treatment necessary to stabilize those who have an emergency condition, regardless of payment method or insurance status.

In an effort to assist hospitals and other providers with their uncompensated care costs, Congress included a provision in the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA)—Section 1011—to set aside $1 billion through 2008 to help hospitals and other emergency providers recoup some of the expenses of providing this critical care.”

Back in 2005, the government was paying states to underwrite estimated costs for doing so. For California, that was more than $70 million a year, for example.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the summary of the law from the folks who administer Medicare, “The Secretary must directly pay hospitals, certain physicians, and ambulance providers (including Indian Health Service and Tribal organizations) for their otherwise unreimbursed costs of providing services under EMTALA to undocumented immigrants. This includes related hospital inpatient, outpatient, and ambulance services furnished to undocumented aliens, aliens paroled into the United States at a U.S. port of entry for the purpose of receiving such services, and Mexican citizens permitted temporary entry to the U.S.”

All Necessary Medical Services

In addition, CMS (Center for Medicare Services) “has adopted an indirect approach to determine whether a provider can seek payment for an eligible patient. CMS will not require hospital staff to ask patients directly about their citizenship or immigration status.” Section 1011 coverage would continue until the individual is stabilized, notwithstanding any inpatient admission. To be considered stable, a patient’s emergency medical condition must be resolved, even though the underlying medical condition may persist. In general, we believe that most patients will be stabilized within two calendar days.

According to the MMA, Section 1011 funds can be used to cover all medically necessary and appropriate services which physicians furnish to a hospital inpatient or outpatient patients who receive emergency services required by section 1867 (EMTALA) and related hospital inpatient and outpatient services and ambulance services.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rather than paying for open-ended medical treatment at emergency rooms, it does seem financially responsible to say undocumented individuals can buy medical insurance at their own cost, doesn’t it?

Be careful whom you ridicule. You might be the ridiculed yourself in a half-second.

Let’s Make America Accurate.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.


This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

GOPer Joni Ernst booed and peppered with questions about guns at tense Iowa town hall

Published

on

In videos uploaded to Twitter, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) received a chorus of boos and shouts from a town hall crowd after she tried to blame mass shootings on mental health issues, with one person shouting, "Do something!"

According to a report from Iowa Starting Line, the embattled Iowa Senator whose approval numbers have dropped, due in part to President Donald Trump, was pressed by one local teacher about changing gun laws so she can get back to the job she was hired for.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump furious with Steve King for crippling his re-election chances in Iowa: CNN’s April Ryan

Published

on

Sitting in with CNN's Victor Blackwell on Sunday morning, contributor April Ryan relayed that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is in big trouble not only with his party over his latest comments about rape and incest, but that Donald Trump is aggravated with him too because he may impact the president's chances in Iowa in the 2020 election.

With King reeling from the fallout from his own comments made during an appearance earlier in the week, Ryan said that his days may be numbered because senior Republicans want him gone too.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Sanders vows to ‘go to war with white nationalism and racism in every aspect of our lives’

Published

on

Speaking to the Black Church PAC Presidential Forum in Atlanta two weeks after a gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart with the goal of killing Mexicans, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday said his administration will "go to war against white nationalism and racism" if he is elected president in 2020.

"I'm Jewish, my family came from Poland, my father's whole family was wiped out by Hitler and his white nationalism," said Sanders. "Too many people have fought over the years, too many people have died against racism to allow it to resurface and flourish in America. We will go to war against white nationalism and racism in every aspect of our lives."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image