How many il­le­gal im­mi­grants?

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS LETTERS -

Re­gard­ing “More than 1 mil­lion Texas chil­dren lack in­sur­ance cov­er­age: study,” Mod­ern­health­, April 8: Hav­ing 1 mil­lion chil­dren with­out health­care cov­er­age is a trav­esty. But here are the ques­tions:

Are all of these chil­dren from fam­i­lies that are in the U.S. legally? If not, why is it U.S. tax­pay­ers’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­vide care? What care is avail­able to them in their home coun­tries if they are not here legally? If these chil­dren are, with their par­ents, here legally, then yes, we should help. Even in New Jer­sey, we have prob­lems with pro­vid­ing care for those from for­eign lands with­out in­sur­ance or Med­i­caid.

This gets to the heart of what the U.S. Supreme Court will soon de­cide. Only hos­pi­tals in the U.S. have to pro­vide care—al­beit emer­gency care—to all who need it, even if those at present do not have the abil­ity to pay. What other non-gov­ern­men­tal busi­ness or or­ga­ni­za­tion has that re­spon­si­bil­ity? Paul Gold­berg Lib­er­ty­health Jer­sey City, N.J.

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