Health Care for Undocumented Immigrants
The United States has one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the world, among developed countries. The push over the prior presidential administration was to increase coverage for individuals as much as possible through an expansion of Medicaid, but there was a group of 11 million individuals that was excluded, and that was undocumented immigrants.
In the current political environment, there is kind of a attitude of retracting on the idea of expanding Medicaid, but there are institutions that are delivering care for people one way or another, with insurance or without insurance, and the reality is that because we provide care to anyone who stands in need of a health emergency, we all pay for healthcare sooner or later. One of the paradoxes that we're seeing playing out right now is that for individual coverage, there is great resistance, but when you look at healthcare systems that are providing care to real people, not necessarily covering them,
but providing those services, there is an opportunity to reach people that you couldn't reach before. One of the great examples that I like to point to is the people who need dialysis. If you are undocumented in the United States, you are not entitled to receive dialysis, but without dialysis, kidney failure becomes an emergent condition, and you will eventually get treated.
That emergent care comes with a high price that's almost four times higher than the cost of delivering regular dialysis. Many states with their own funds will provide dialysis to undocumented immigrants, and that equals better health for undocumented immigrants and it equals cash savings for taxpayers, and opportunities like that abound in the healthcare system, and understanding .
that when we provide access to care for undocumented immigrants, it's not necessarily going to be a cost burden every time. In some ways, it may be beneficial to us in both indirect ways, and even in direct ways.