Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Bishops and Health Care Reform for Immigrants

A group of Hispanic Catholic bishops visited with members of Congress on Capitol Hill September 17 to emphasize, as they’ve done for decades, the U.S. bishops are in favor of health care reform that is truly universal and respects the life and dignity of all -- from the moment of conception until natural death.

There were other issues on the agenda: immigration reform, education, housing and poverty. The bishops came away feeling that they had been given the opportunity to touch, briefly, on all the issues in each of the meetings. The congressmen were not only courteous but truly engaged on each of the issues. On the bishops’ side the experience was positive.

At the media briefing immediately after the meetings, the questions posed to the bishops narrowed the focus to the current debate on health care reform, particularly as it relates to immigrants. No surprise here.

There are immigrants and immigrants. Not to oversimplify the content of the dialogue, here is what the bishops actually told legislators: that any health care reform bill must allow legal immigrants -- most of whom are taxpayers and many of whom serve in the military -- to participate in any new health care system on the same basis as United States citizens.

The issue of health care for undocumented immigrants was raised during the meetings in the context of a recent proposal in the Baucus Health Care Reform Bill -- currently being considered on the Senate Finance Committee, which Senator Baucus chairs -- to bar undocumented immigrants from spending their own private funds to purchase health insurance for themselves and their families. The bishops expressed opposition to such proposals, telling legislators that proactively barring individuals from spending their own money on health insurance is both morally wrong and contrary to the public welfare. The bishops pointed out that if undocumented immigrants are not permitted to use their own private funds to purchase health insurance, they will wind up going to emergency rooms in greater numbers, which American taxpayers would ultimately have to fund.

Noting that unborn children of pregnant women in the United States will be United States citizens upon birth, the bishops expressed support for ensuring that all pregnant women have access to health care, regardless of their immigration status. The bishops also urged legislators to ensure that no public funds are used to pay for abortions and medical providers are permitted to decline to participate in medical procedures that conflict with their conscience.

A summary of the key points on other topics discussed with legislators can be found here.

1 comment:

Brittanicus said...

Any company that has hired more than 3-5 illegal aliens--MUST –be entirely aware that they are hiring foreign nationals? That's why we need a comprehensive E-Verify application in operation, as permanent immigration identity software countrywide? Nor should it be on a voluntary basis for everybody. Long timers and new hires must be verified? Sen. Grassley must have heard from his constituencies, because a letter The Honorable Thad Cochran Chairman Ranking Member Committee on Appropriations Committee on Appropriation requesting their support for my amendment (S.A.1415). The amendment gives businesses a tool to ensure that they have a legal workforce by allowing them to check the status of all workers, NOT JUST NEW HIRES? The amendment allows for voluntary checks of existing employees through E-Verify in the working locations.

But this amendment doesn't go far enough? It should stipulate that anybody who doesn't comply or ignores the usage of E-Verify should be held in violation of our laws. The fines should be severe, but in cases of second violations, should forfeit business assets and receive a prison sentences. These obnoxious businesses know exactly what they are doing and know the risks? E-Verify could be easily expanded for many other uses in the US, including admittance to health care, driver’s licenses, government subsidies that would include education and home mortgages? CALL YOUR DISINCLINED SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE AT 202-224-3121 SO THEY KNOW, HOW ANGRY WE ARE WITH THE IMMIGRATION INVASION TRAVESTY. Much more to learn at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH & CAPSWEB.

All American workers and legal population should be very attuned in the coming months, as the Democratic leaders have tutored President Obama in forcing into Congress another AMNESTY bill. It is an objectionable legislation to enact in legalizing the 20 to 30 (?) million illegal people who have settled around our nation? Millions more will follow over borders, by plane and any entrance ports. They are already alert that free health care lies just across the international borders, for themselves, immediate family, young and old. This is the majority parties’ method to sneak health care for illegal families by legalization; America doesn't even offer free treatment to its own people, who are hounded into bankruptcy for unpaid hospital bills. Americans absolutely cannot afford another path to citizenship, as it will have a major financial impact on our crumbling infrastructure, irreversible road to OVERPOPULATION and higher taxes. I am very agreeable with President Obama, for a European style health care package, but those illegal immigrants who have not been caught, will have to rely on a humane admittance to emergency hospitals.