…this is the rule in California about illegal immigrants and Medicaid (known as “Medi-Cal” in that state):
For Medi-Cal, immigration status only affects the scope of service. The services that Medi-Cal provides to undocumented immigrants include, but are not limited to, emergency medical services, prenatal care, pregnancy-related services, nursing home care, and limited breast and cervical cancer treatment.
Of course, in other states, “undocumented immigrants” can get medical treatment via emergency rooms and what’s known as “emergency Medicaid.” But the California policy seems far more comprehensive, more planned and less reactive to circumstances. And what does that “not limited to” clause mean? Are there any limits to the coverage for illegal immigrants who qualify financially?
I confess to being stumped when it comes to the issue of Medicaid for illegal immigrants. The solution, of course, is to have prevented large numbers of illegals from coming here in the first place. But that horse is very much out of the barn. So now what do we do now? If so many millions of people can’t be deported (or if we lack the will to do so, which is pretty much the same thing), how can we allow them to die for want of treatment, especially the very many children among them?
It’s a huge dilemma, because the more services that are provided the more it entices new illegal immigrants to enter. And the more who enter, the more pressure there is to give them more services on humanitarian grounds.
You can see from the list of covered services in California that a significant number of them are geared to mothers and children (pregnancy and prenatal services, and breast and cervical cancer), as well as emergencies. Emergency services are the bottom line and there should probably be some provision for them, but what of nursing home care? Why should that be provided? And how is it possible to avoid the overuse of emergency services by illegal immigrants who might have coverage for emergencies but not for regular doctor visits?