Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Counties and States Insuring the Undocumented

March 29, 2016
Plain English Version
 MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images


MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Undocumented migrants are not included in the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

That has left most of the undocumented with only one place to go: the emergency room. There are 30 million uninsured people in America. One out of four is not documented. Some of the undocumented may get private or workplace insurance through spouses.

Many undocumented people go to local community health clinics. There are not enough of these clinics to meet basic health needs.

There is good news. Counties and states are providing health care to many undocumented. The basic reason: it makes sense to give people health care. It will keep them (and others) from getting sicker.

Counties with large numbers of migrants are leading the way. Here are the biggest counties giving care to undocumented persons.

County                        Undocumented                     # Served

L.A., Calif.                    1,062,000                              135,000

Harris, Texas              373,000                                 65,000

Cook, Ill,                      323,000                                 20,000

Dallas, Texas              242,000                                 115,000

Queens, N.Y.               238,000                                 71,000

Kings, N.Y.                  181,000                                 80,000

Riverside, Calif.          158,000                                 7,600

This is called “immigration reform from the ground up.” Non-emergency care is going to at least 750,000 people. The cost is more than $1 billion. Almost all funds come from the counties. More states are beginning to put money into these kinds of efforts.

The programs pay for doctor visits, shots, prescription drugs, lab tests and surgeries. The services usually are cheap or free to participants. Immigration status does not matter.

Many people believe it is unfair to use tax dollars to help undocumented immigrants. Hospitals have to treat anyone who comes into their emergency rooms. This means taxpayers already are paying for the most costly types of care.

Some states put the undocumented on state Medicaid programs. Sixteen states cover the medical costs of undocumented children and pregnant women.

The debate about immigration goes on. The pressing need for health care also goes on. Many places are meeting that challenge. In some ways, it is America at work.

Source: The Wall Street Journal March 24, 2016

Print Friendly

In Brief

Selling Kids on Vegetables

How to get kids to eat vegetables? Marketing is the answer. You can call it tricks or just good ideas. Whatever works.

School lunchrooms are...

What Do You Call Yourself if Your Mother is White and Your Father is Black?

On the 2010 Census, President Barack Obama, identified himself as  “black.” But millions of Americans consider themselves “bi- or multi-racial.”  And their numbers are...

Mending Walls, By Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963) was a great American poet. Just before he died, he read his poetry at the inauguration of President John...

Pineapple on Pizza? The Global Debate

The President of Iceland started it. Last week he joked that pizza topped with pineapple should be outlawed. His remarks set off a debate...

Archives

Dictionary
  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by dictionarist.com
Click to listen highlighted text!