It was good news. But it was bad news to healthcare providers in areas with large populations of alien immigrants. The benefits did not link up with the funding employers or the government to pay for the benefits. It did not offer enough incentives for the choice of a healthy lifestyle or the available health care services. It needed to simplify administrative procedures. It relied too much on government regulation and too little from public sector's initiative. And it provided few incentives to study the effectiveness of its procedures and outcomes. These comprised the bad news.
Eichstaedt, Peter. National Healthcare: Breakthrough or Pipedream? 3 pages. New Mexico Business Journal: The New Mexico Business Journal, November, 1993
The author commends former President Clinton's health plan as noble, high-quality and cost-effective for all Americans. It would require the employer to pay 80% of the health cost and the employee to bear the 20%. The plan, however, failed to address rural health care and health care for the uninsured, such as illegal aliens. The problem of undocumented aliens was strongest in El Paso, Las Cruces in New Mexico. Some hospitals, which treated these aliens, did not get paid under Clinton's health plan.
This study will use mainly the descriptive-normative method of research in recording, describing, interpreting, analyzing and comparing data gathered from authoritative and recent sources of information. It may also use a complementary questionnaire or survey method in gathering responses and other information from and about the sample population. The sample will consist of individual respondents chosen at random in select hospitals and clinics in California and Maryland with large populations of illegal aliens.
Findings and Conclusion
The message of President George W. Bush's 2006 State of the Union Address was keeping American economy competitive through stronger immigration enforcement and border protection (Stoil 2006). Shortly afterwards, he promoted immigration reform as the focus of his domestic legislation. Heated debates ensued as a result of the inconsistency. Intents and attempts at evaluating and modifying the immigration have been going on in Washington in the last two decades. The last major change was the Immigration Act of 1990, which created the three categories of legal immigrants, namely, family-sponsored immigrants, employer-based immigrants, and the so-called "diversity" immigrants, who sponsor themselves. The Act set annual limits to the number of visas for each category, a quota for each country and a bipartisan Commission on Legal Immigration Reform to work on the technical aspect of a rational immigration policy. The Commission recommended a more effective system of verifying work authorization in an attempt at reducing illegal immigration. However, it failed to develop a basic law, which would match employment and family reunification needs. As a consequence, the Immigration Act of 1990 ironically induced the current illegal immigration problem. Visa issuances were limited at a period of worst recession. But right after, the economy rapidly and vigorously expanded.. The demand for low-income, hourly workers and seasonal employees attracted at least 11 million foreign nationals for these jobs in recent years. Laws from1991 to 2001 did not recognize or sufficiently address the change in circumstances. From 1996 to 2003, less than five or six bills per year were presented in Congress, which addressed immigration issues. Few of these immigration reform bills tended to further restrict legal immigration and imposing criminal penalties for illegal aliens. The President and Congress might come to terms more deeply with the reality of illegal immigrants on account of all their adverse effects on the population. But the declaration that America must keep an open-door policy has screened the sore facts, which led to the development of current immigration problems (Stoil).
An honest and thorough review of the history of the United States reveals that it was built primarily by immigrants who sought a better life for themselves and their family through productive industrial pursuits (Sanders et al. 2006) and by establishing a culture of diligence and efficiency. Almost anyone could migrate to the U.S. until the late 19th century. That early, the federal government began attempts to control the influx of aliens through different legislations. Western and Northern nationals were the beneficiaries of these legislations. Restrictions were aimed at non-whites. The Chinese and the Japanese were prohibited from entering the U.S. Then other Asian workers were observed to work at most railroad and mining jobs at lower wages. President Theodore Roosevelt tried to negotiate with Japan to suspend immigration in exchange for non-segregated education for Japanese children then in California. Congress enacted three laws, meant to preserve the true "character" of the nation. These were the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, the National Origins Act of 1924 and the Displaced Persons Act, which restricted the entry of "undesirable" aliens to the U.S. (Sanders, et al.).
The Immigration Act of 1965 allowed almost equal numbers of aliens from all over the world to enter the United States but reduced those coming from Latin America (Sanders, et al. 2006). This increased the number of illegal aliens from Mexico and South and Central America, who fled from poverty, civil discord and political persecution. The Refugee Act of 1980 gave them legal entry but retained severe restrictions on social service program budgets of Southwest border and some coastal states. Responding to the heated anti-immigrant sentiments and the accompanying economic problems, Congress enacted the Immigration and Reform and Control Act of 1986, which sanctioned employers who would knowingly hire illegal immigrants. It also provided for an amnesty program, which legalized illegal aliens who had been living in the U.S. For at least four years. The Immigration Act of 1990 allowed a 40% increase in immigration. Then Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1996, which increased the number of border patrol agents and restrict the provision of social services to illegal aliens from Mexico (Sanders, et al.).
In comparison with about one million legal immigrants every year, there are about 400,000 who enter the U.S. illegally (Sanders, et al. 2006). Statistics say that there may be 4 to 11 million illegal aliens now living in the country. Federal and State laws have been passed to deny social service benefits to these illegal aliens. The Welfare Act of 1996 virtually deprived them of all benefits, including Supplemental Security Income. They could have only temporary housing, emergency medical assistance, and disaster relief. California passed the 1994 Save Our State Amendment, which denied public social and welfare service, public non-emergency healthcare and public education to illegal aliens. This law has been contested as violating federal immigration law, due process and the provisions of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by denying free education to the children of illegal aliens. Proponents, however, insisted that such programs actually attract illegal immigration. Illegal aliens cost the federal government approximately $26 billion in social services and criminal justice system expenditures each year. Advocates who take the side of illegal aliens contend that they contribute to the tax base, as most of them come to the U.S. To work. They add that depriving illegal aliens of access to public education and healthcare will tend to increase crime and public health problems. These are among the arguments raised in debates for and against programs, which provide or deny social services to illegal aliens (Sanders, et al.).
The Health Security Act guaranteed universal healthcare coverage for all Americans (Clarke 1994). It promised to simplify healthcare paperwork and delivery systems, control health costs and promote individual choice of coverage plans and health care providers. The Act, however, did not tie up with funding available from employers who would pay the benefits or coverage. It did not provide appropriate incentives for the wise use of healthcare resources, had no economic incentives for the choice of lifestyles of healthcare services. It required simplification of administrative procedures, relied too much on government regulation and too little on public sector initiative and few incentives for medical research and technology advancement (Clarke).
More than half of almost 37 million U.S. citizens who have no health insurance have jobs but mostly work for small companies (Eichstaedt 1993). Former Bill Clinton's health plan was commendable, but it failed to address rural health care and health care for the uninsured. Among the uninsured are illegal aliens. The problem could be resolved only if the competing systems cooperated and if companies and health care providers shared the added costs (Eichstaedt).
According to an article published in the Washington Post, Americans pay millions of dollars to provide health care and medical treatment for illegal aliens (Boulet 2004). It said that the U.S. government would help subsidize a four-year $1 billion dollar program to shoulder some of the costs for treating illegal immigrants. Senator Jon Kyl sponsored the subsidy with funds in the Medicare bill. Houston's Harris County Hospital District, for example, spent $330 million to treat and immunize illegal aliens for a period of three years (Boulet).
Baltimore County Republican Delegates Patrick L. McDonough and Richard K.…