Back from a long blogging hiatus:
Editorial in last week’s Boston Globe calls out for Jews to remember and draw from their own history to protect immigrants’ access to health care:
US Representative Paul Broun of Georgia, a medical doctor, said on the House floor in July that “Obamacare,’’ as he calls it, “is going to give every single one of those illegal aliens health insurance at the cost of taxpayers.’’Never mind that Americans already pay for illegal immigrants through emergency room and charity care, which drives up the cost of insurance for everybody. The Senate bill already written clearly defines eligible individuals only as “citizens or lawfully admitted permanent residents.’’ The House bills include an explicit section titled “No federal payment for undocumented aliens.’’What part of “legal’’ don’t the opponents understand?
“Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means,’’ immigrants are no different from the Jews Shylock was defending in a great drama 400 years ago. The country needs to stop pretending that they don’t also bleed.
This is a problem we feel acutely in Massachusetts as the state tries valiantly to cover 30,000 LEGAL immigrants with 1/3 of the money they need, due to the funding pulled by the state legislature, removing Aliens with Special Status from eligibility for Commonwealth Care, the subsidized health care created by MA health care reform which sought to ensure universal health care for all MA residents, immigrants and citizens alike.
How many now middle-class Jewish families were once “aliens with special status?” If you prick them, do they not bleed?
What will YOU do about this? Or will it set a precedent for denying coverage to legal immigrants nationwide, as many fear?