The people who support this policy are not only heartless, they are
Wants Citizenship Proof for Infant Care
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: November 3, 2006
WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 -- Under a new federal policy, children born in the
United States to illegal immigrants with low incomes will no longer be
automatically entitled to health insurance through Medicaid, Bush
administration officials said Thursday.
Doctors and hospitals said the policy change would make it
difficult for such infants, who are United States citizens, to obtain
health care needed in the first year of life.
are generally barred from Medicaid but can get coverage for treatment
of emergency medical conditions, including labor and delivery.
the past, once a woman received emergency care under Medicaid for the
birth of a baby, the child was deemed eligible for coverage as well,
and states had to cover the children for one year from the date of
Under the new policy, an application must be filed for
the child, and the parents must provide documents to prove the
...Obtaining a birth certificate can take weeks in some states, doctors
said. Moreover, they said, illegal immigrant parents may be reluctant
to go to a state welfare office to file applications because they fear
contact with government agencies that could report their presence to
Look, if the kid is eventually going to end up on Medicaid anyway, it
would be far better, not to mention cheaper, to
provide continuous health coverage in the immediate postnatal period.
You can't support this policy on humanitarian grounds, and
you can't support it with a financial argument, either.
The policy change is mean spirited, as well as pointless. It
is sort of like a grown-up version of the " href="http://www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2006/10/13/CampusLife/Yaf-Plays.catch.Amid.Protest-2349178.shtml">Catch
an Illegal Immigrant Day" sponsored by the " href="http://www.yaf.com/">Young Americans for Freedom."
(Note YAFs haven't updated their web site in three years, so
there is not much point in visiting.) The only problem is, the kids
affected are real victims, not actors playing victims. Not
only that, but they are, according to the Constitution, American
citizens. Although citizenship doesn't mean as much as it
once did, now that citizens can be detained forever without legal
representation, you'd think is would at least provide one with equal
protection. Apparently, that part of the Constitution is not
as important as it once was.
What'll probably happen is this: some of the kids will be fine anyway,
without immediate postnatal care. Some will have problems and
get treated, and the hospitals will shift the costs to other patients,
so we'll end up paying anyway, but the money will take a different
route. Others will be ill and not get care, and when they do
get coverage, it will cost a lot more. Perhaps a few will die.
There's just no sense to it.
There is no sense. There is only meanness.
That is possibly the saddest thing that has happened to America over the past fifteen or so years: meanness has become acceptable.