01 Mar Health Coverage for Immigrants
Health and education are the very basic need of an individual. The government also on its part is liable to ensure proper health education and shelter to every citizen in the country. At present Immigration has emerged as a huge problem across the world.
According to data released by NCBI, National Centre for Biotechnology Information, the 300,000 to 500,000 illegal immigrants who sneak into the United States each year arrive carrying an asymmetrical burden of undiagnosed illness—including contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV—and often lack primary preventive care and immunizations. The unfavorable circumstances under which some undocumented immigrants enter the country, and the inferior conditions in which many thrive following their arrival, only worsen poor health.
Undocumented immigrants are also commonly limited in their understanding to access care by a lack of both health insurance and adequate financial resources to pay for services. The results of undocumented immigrants’ health burdens and barriers to obtaining services extend beyond the individual to the entire community. The agricultural and food service settings in which many undocumented immigrants work, for example, can promote the spread of communicable diseases to other sections of the population. Johns and Varkoutas also recommend that fear of detection has driven undocumented immigrants to seek treatments through underground channels, which may have eased the evolution of drug-resistant microbes.
These health burdens are sustained and amplified by language, lack of knowledge about the US health care system, and anxiety of detection by immigration officials, all of which restrict undocumented immigrants’ ability to adequately access health services. Language is a huge obstacle for immigrants and health care access. In 2015, 41 percent of people in the United States were analyzed Limited-English Proficient. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been adopted to expect health care providers and insurance providers to implement translation and interpretation services to those with limited English proficiency, or else it is considered a violation of civil rights of patients. Access to health care for immigrants is a national concern and needs to be approached with national policy.
In general, permanent resident immigrants are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP, Children’s Health Insurance Program after five years of residence on the same basis as U.S. citizens and must meet all other program requirements. Whereas Unauthorized immigrants are not eligible for federal health insurance programs and are only suitable for more discrete programs like emergency medical assistance under Medicaid, services in federally qualified health centers and specific public health programs.
Research shows that shifting immigration policies under the Trump administration that are focused on enhancing immigration enforcement and restricting immigration are leading to substantially increased fears among the immigrant community that is causing a growing number of families to turn away from programs and services, including Medicaid and CHIP. Further, in October 2018, the Trump administration published a proposed rule to make changes to public charge policy. The changes would likely lead to substantial decreases in participation in Medicaid and other programs among legal immigrant families and their primarily US born children.
Declines in coverage for families is increasing barriers to care and financial instability, negatively affecting the growth and healthy development of their children -KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION.
The Trump administration said in a statement this week, “Our primary goal is to provide a seamless open enrolment experience for HealthCare.gov consumers and ensure that those who want coverage offered through the program can enroll in a plan.”
A study in 2007 showed that less than 1 % of Medicaid was spent on illegal immigrants. This not only heightens the risk of them getting fatally ill but also becomes harmful for other citizens living in the US. This raises serious questions on government policies and the state itself; whether the system wants to overcome the situation in whole or discriminate people on basis of their nationality.