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Immigrants and Health Care

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Immigrants and Health Care"

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Is your bus full of immigrants? (cc photo by Charlie Brewer)

Is your bus full of immigrants? (cc photo by Charlie Brewer)

One frustrating aspect of the health care debate is that the President keeps getting accused of wanting to do things that he’s not actually doing but that would actually be good ideas. For example, as he explained last night the public option he’s designed stands no chance whatsoever of driving private insurance companies all out of business. But driving private health insurance companies out of business with public-private competition would be a good idea! Similarly, contrary to Rep Wilson, the bills under consideration really won’t give health insurance to undocumented immigrants. But like Alexandra Gutierrez this seems regrettable to me—undocumented immigrants are people, too!

Obviously, it’s politically impossible for elected officials to take any other stand on this immigrant issue, but it’s a really unfortunate and inhumane posture they’re adopted. Hopefully someday soon we’ll get an immigration reform measure that directly deals with the multi-faceted problem of the presence of a mass community of undocumented people in the United States. Until then, I’m still waiting for the moment when conservatives realize that “illegal immigrants might use it!” actually works as an argument against basically all public sector endeavors. Illegal immigrants benefit from the cops catching murderers! They ride the bus! They drive on highways! Better just eliminate all services to make sure no one from Mexico takes advantages of any of them.

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