Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Undocumented Aliens, Health Care, and Miami-Dade

Earlier I posted on the fact that our county supported hospital system (Jackson Memorial Hospital or "JMH")is a place where uninsured people go for health-care. Here is another article from the Miami Herald on the crushing burden that care for undocumented aliens imposes on that system.

Undocumented aliens are not here to enjoy the sun, they are here because at one time at least there were jobs, in addition to the social support system of which JMH is a part. Now there are no jobs. Some, no doubt, are heading home or have already gone home becuase of it. I doubt that the availability of JMH health care would otherwise keep them here, but I don't know that and I don't know what other social support services there are to which they have access.

But the point is that they are here in the first place because American employers had jobs ready for them, if only they would come. These are American employers who paid no benefits. The rest of us subsidized those employers. That annoys me, not the fact that the undocumented immigrants come here or that they sometimes need help that we can give them once they get here. What annoys me is that the American employers are getting something for nothing.

This is why Wal-Mart is on board with national health care. The fact is, we are not going to let people get sick and die on our streets, regardless of where they come from, if they are willing to get in line. Thus, the people of Miami-Dade tax themselves already to provide support for JMH's free, no-INS-questions-asked, medical services. Why should we have to support the contractors and speculators who over-build Miami-Dade and employ these "cheap" workers? Make 'em pay!


Macon said...

How about just enforcing the current employment laws?

I'm not saying there isn't a better solution to paying for the health care of indigent folks, but your argument sounds a little like the gun control folks who want more laws because badguys keep getting their hands on guns.

Besides, any law that doesn't exactly target the companies you describe, for exactly the thing they're doing, will really just be a law that extorts/punishes all the other businesses who are doing right.

Paul Stokes said...

You are referring to the employment laws that prohibit hiring illegal aliens. My take on that is that those laws haven't worked and won't work because we don't have enough native people to do the jobs in question and need to import people to do them, whether legally or illegally. That has changed since the Great Recession began, of course. That new situation, more than any other, should dampen the illegal alien problem - and it is. I don't have as high a view of law enforcement as you may have.

Macon said...

clearly, the current immigration laws are not working, either for the immigrants who want to work, and the employers who need workers.

But this is an immigration problem, that has a corollary medical cost problem.

The work & immigration problem needs to be solved first.

I have a higher view of law enforcement than I have of the law makers. But that wouldn't take very much, since my current view of law makers is only one degree above the absolute zero of contempt.

Paul Stokes said...

The immigration laws are a mess, and it does not appear to me that they are going to be fixed anytime soon. They hurt our country in many ways: one of them is that they tend to keep out law abiding people and are easily evaded by people who have no respect for the law. As the law-abiding people tend to be the better educated, we do our economy great harm year after year with the foolish laws. It is a huge irony that because of the abortion regime in our country we don't have enough people to do the work. The further irony is that our leaky immigration system makes up for labor pool deficit in a way that lets in the classes of people Planned Parenthood would like to limit and excludes the elites that they would favor. May I also venture to say that the system lets in people who have a higher regard for children than the elites in our country? God's judgment, I say.