Census Bureau Confirms: Immigration (Legal And Illegal) Is Obamacare`s Achilles Heel


Every year in September, the Census Bureau reports on income, poverty and health care coverage in the U.S. 

The timing of the report could not have been better this year. Congress had returned from vacation and began the debate on Obamacare just as the report appeared on September 10th.

In the next to the last paragraph of the four page Census Bureau press release which announced the study, this stunning paragraph appears:

 “The uninsured rates for the native-born and foreign-born populations were statistically unchanged at 12.9 percent and 33.5 percent, respectively in 2008.  Among the foreign-born population, the uninsured rates for both naturalized citizens (18 percent) and noncitizens (44.7 percent) were statistically unchanged.”[Income, Poverty And Health Insurance Coverage In The United States: 2008]

Wow! 33.5 percent of immigrants lack health care coverage—as compared to just 12.9 percent of U.S.-born residents! 

Does anyone remember any Main Stream Media coverage of this devastating information? 

Everyone remembers the dust-up about the rude behavior of Representative Wilson during President Obama`s address to Congress. And most recall discussion of health coverage of illegal aliens.

But why was there no discussion of uninsured immigrants—both illegal and legal? (Except on VDARE.COM!)

For those interested in the raw data, all the numbers appear on the Census website. 

 Below is a summary of the raw data.

Health Ins. 2008

Population

Uninsured

Percent uninsured

Numbers in 1,000`s

 

 

 

All

301,483

46,340

15.4%

Native-born

264,733

34,036

12.9%

Foreign-born

36,750

12,304

33.5%

  Naturalized

15,475

2,792

18%

  Not a citizen

21,274

9,511

44.7%

In other words, almost a quarter of the uninsured population are immigrants. And that doesn`t count their U.S.-born “anchor-baby” children.

But that is not all! If you delve into the data, which reporters do not do, you find out that the Census Bureau counts those with Medicaid as having medical coverage. 

Medicaid is a taxpayer-funded means-tested, welfare program of health coverage for low income and poor people.  It is generally a 50/50 funded partnership between the federal government and states.  Some counties participate in funding also. 

Both citizens and some non-citizens are eligible for Medicaid. And Illegal aliens are entitled to emergency Medicaid. (Most of the emergency services covered are obstetric care.) 

Will emergency Medicaid be cut under a new insurance plan?  Does President Obama know that illegal aliens are entitled to emergency Medicaid? 

Well, that is an interesting question. I would guess that he does know they are covered, because he is a smart man.

So just how many foreign-born residents are receiving Medicaid?  A lot.  If one goes to the Census Bureau site and checks on historical data by nativity, the numbers are all there for the world to see.  

According to the Census Bureau, 38.2 million native-born residents (14.4% of all native born) are covered by Medicaid.  And 4.4 million foreign-born residents (12.1% of all foreign-born) are covered by Medicaid. 

As a percent of population, native-born residents are slightly more likely to be on Medicaid because all poor families with children are eligible for Medicaid if they meet the means testing, whereas many foreign-born residents are not eligible. 

In addition, many of the native-born residents on Medicaid are the U.S-born children of immigrants.  So they are included in the numbers for native-born and not for foreign-born residents.  

The Census numbers also include Medicare data.  (Medicare is the taxpayer-funded government health scheme for everyone 65 or over)  In 2008, 38.6 million native-born residents or 14.6% of the total native population, received Medicare coverage. And 4.4 million foreign-born residents, or 11.9% of the foreign-born population, received Medicare coverage.

But here is the kicker: 3.2 million naturalized citizens, or a whopping 20.7% of all naturalized citizens, received Medicare in 2008. 

The immigrant enthusiasts who claim that more immigrant workers will help fund the Social Security and Medicare insurance programs rely on taxpayers believing that all the immigrant workers will go home and not receive old-age benefits like Medicaid. 

These numbers show that to be a complete myth.   

For those who would like a tidy little summary to explain this to their elected officials, here is a table showing the percentages of uninsured and those covered by Medicaid:

 

Percent uninsured

Percent on Medicaid

% uninsured & Medicaid

All

15.4%

14.1%

29.5%

 

 

 

 

Native-Born

12.9%

14.4%

27.3%

Foreign-born

33.5%

12.1%

45.6%

  Naturalized

18.0%

11.4%

29.4%

  Not a citizen

44.7%

12.6%

57.3%

An astonishing 45.6% of foreign-born residents are either uninsured or on Medicaid. This compares to 27.3% for the native-born. 

If Congress and the Obama Administration grant amnesty to illegal aliens, and then provide them with full medical coverage funded by the government, then this package is going to cost a mucho Americano dinero. 

Moreover, even legal immigrants will be disproportionately uninsured and on Medicaid as long as current immigration policy, perversely skewed toward the lower skilled and less assimilable, persists. That will cost mucho too.

President Obama says that Obamacare will not bust the budget. But then, that is what President Bush said about Medicare, Part D for prescription coverage.  Oh, whoops and oh, whoops again. 

Do President Obama and members of Congress receive briefings about Census Bureau data on health care coverage?  If they do, then the silence about these numbers is all the more egregious.

Bottom line: If President Obama and Congress really want a plan to work, then they need to halt immigration, period. 

America needs to take care of the health needs of citizens.

But Congress also needs to stop inviting the poor neighbors inbecause no social programs will work if legions of unskilled people continue swamping us.

Linda Thom [email her] is a retiree and refugee from California. She formerly worked as an officer for a major bank and as a budget analyst for the County Administrator of Santa Barbara