Immigrants' health care costs are hot topic on Capitol Hill

Other media reports detail Sen. Ron Wyden's proposal to allow accountable care organizations to focus on the sickest, most costly patients; questions from Rep. Darrell Issa, R.-Calif., about the navigator program's funding; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., angry response to a reporter's question about late-term abortions.

Los Angeles Times: Boxer To Push Funding For Health Costs Of Uninsured Immigrants
Sen. Barbara Boxer plans to push for Washington to provide $250 million and perhaps more to help local and state governments pay the cost of healthcare to uninsured immigrants who seek legal status under legislation now before the Senate. Officials from Los Angeles County--home to an estimated 1.1 million people in the country illegally, one-tenth of the nation's total--have expressed concern that local taxpayers will be "left holding the bag" to pay for the healthcare costs (Simon, 6/13).

The Washington Post's Post Politics: House Democrat Says GOP 'Having A Relapse' On Immigration Reform
Gutierrez is part of a bipartisan House group that has been working privately on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, but the group has suffered delays and setbacks for months. Most recently, one of the original eight members, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), dropped out of the coalition, citing a standoff over requirements related to health care for illegal immigrants (Nakamura, 6/13).

National Journal: Pelosi Lashes Out At Reporter's Question On Morality Of Late-Term Abortions
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi flashed unusual public anger and perhaps some confusion Thursday during a news conference when asked about the "moral difference" between late-term elective abortions and the infant deaths that led to murder convictions for Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell (House, 6/13).

The Hill: Issa: HHS Improperly Funding Part Of ObamaCare Implementation
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) accused the Obama administration on Thursday of disobeying a ban on the use of certain funds to implement part of President Obama's healthcare law. Issa, the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the Health and Human Services Department appears to have "intentionally circumvented an explicit federal funding ban in the interest of convenience and political expediency." He sought more information about how the HHS has funded a program to hire "navigators" to help people understand new coverage options under the healthcare law (Baker, 6/13).

The Hill: Wyden Calls For Changes In Key ObamaCare Program
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Thursday that Congress needs to change a program in President Obama's healthcare law that aims to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality. ... He said Congress should remove a rule that requires ACOs to accept all patients who want to participate. The restriction was intended to prevent ACOs from cherry-picking healthy customers ... But Wyden said the requirement is having the opposite effect: barring doctors from creating ACOs that focus primarily on chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes (Baker, 6/13).

CQ HealthBeat: Save Medicare Through Tighter Focus On The Chronically Ill, Wyden Urges
Medicare's expanding effort to bring team-based care to seniors and the disabled is flawed because it prevents doctors from reaching out to treat the sickest, most costly patients and is limited to certain parts of the country, the senator next in line to chair the Senate Finance Committee said at a Washington, D.C., conference Thursday (Reichard, 6/13).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.




  1. Hacim Obmed Hacim Obmed United States says:

    The immigration bill before the senate is rightly viewed as "amnesty", because it removes the sanction of deportation and thereafter provides most illegal aliens with legal status while imposeing no more then a small fine for this precious benefit. The aliens thus experience no legal "punishment" in the true sense of this word. Additionally, many republicans remember the promises of 1986 and do not have confidence that the various enforcement provisions of the law are strong enough or that sufficient appropriations will be provided to fully fund these provisions over the long haul.

    My suggestion to correct these two problems involves a plea bargain. To get legal status, Illegal aliens would appear in court, and under oath would explain how they came to america and how they have lived since that time. They will freely confess that they have broken various immigration laws, and acknowledge that their violations subject them to deportation and explain any mitigating circumstances that entitle them to clemency. They would then swear that they have committed no other criminal acts and beg the court for mercy and a lesser sentence.  If the  judge finds their testimony to be credible, he will then offer them a bargain: Clemency for their violations in exchange for pleading guilty to a single pro-forma charge of "illegal presence". They will then serve a ten year term of provisional legal status,  pay a small fine of $2000, and forfeit any possibility of getting SS benefits for the remainder of their lives. After ten years they will be eligible to get into the line for a green card and citizenship by the usual process.

    Finally, the SS taxes collected from persons that accept this bargain, will be placed in a special "immigration enforcement trust fund". The amount should be in excess of $7 billion per annum. These funds will be used to pay for enforcement measures to insure that the experience of 1986 is not repeated.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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