The state’s dropping of health care for legal immigrants hit home for me, and I find it completely unjust. My family immigrated here about two decades ago. Although most of us are naturalized by now, and we anyways have private health care, I was horrified by my state’s decision to cut care for legal immigrants who haven’t yet been naturalized.
As I’m sure you’re aware, legal immigrants pay taxes; they’re productive members of society; they’re often well assimilated to “mainstream” American culture. You wouldn’t have any idea if you spoke to me that I was born somewhere else (until I told you my name).
I understand the budget problems and the federal matching. But this is just one of many hurdles on the path to universal, state-wide health care. You can’t just define out such a large and important group of people; if the veto is overriden and this cut stays, Massachusetts will have failed in its goal of providing universal health care.
Thanks for speaking out, Yuval!
I share your views. Your point about immigrants paying taxes is a powerful one. This is certainly true for legal immigrants and actually even for most illegal immigrants.
Certainly, I am in favor of preserving subsidized health care for legal immigrants (to the same extent we provide it for those who have already achieved citizenship). At the base of the problem is a federal policy: The state receives support from the federal government to subsidize health care for persons of limited means; however, the federal government does not provide that subsidy for care for immigrants.
Currently, we already have cut deeply in a number of programs that care for people and the state’s revenues are still headed down below projections. So, it will be a struggle to pass the Governor’s proposal to reinstate this care, although for me, it would be priority to do so.
I feel the only circumstance that the state should provide health insurance to anyone immigrant or not should be if they are truly too poor to afford it on their own. And even in that circumstance I feel that anyone recieving that benefit from the state should have to prove that they are making some effort at training or schooling or are in some sort of program that will provide them with a better paying job so that they can eventually drop the state help.
Comments are closed.