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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Health > Why Latinos need to fight more loudly for passage of health-care reform

Why Latinos need to fight more loudly for passage of health-care reform

LatinaLista — In borrowing a line used by Dem. Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank at a recent town hall meeting on health-care reform, “What planet do those Latinos live on who believe there is no health-care crisis?”

Rep. Barney Frank confronts the challengers of health-care reform at a town hall meeting.
(Source: AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Amid all the screaming and shouting from both sides over this issue, the voice of Latinos has been strangely silent. Of course, the argument can always be made that the kind of in-your-face rants and upfront challenges of elected officials are just not the Latino style of battling issues, but by not doing anything there is a silent message being sent that Latinos condone the current healthcare system.
Again, I ask: What planet do you/they live on?
It’s bad enough that 34 percent of our compadres and comadres don’t have health insurance but for those Latinos who do have health insurance, there is a false sense of security that life is covered.
In fact, that is far from the case.


Just being Latina/o can predetermine a number of outcomes in our lives:
Die from diabetes
Battle obesity
Our children battle obesity
Be infected with tuberculosis
Have a higher rate of contracting cervical cancer
Likelier to die from breast cancer
Likelier to develop and die from heart disease
Likelier to have high cholesterol
Develop hypertension, liver disorders or lupus
And these diseases don’t even include what happens to those Latinos who live high-risk lifestyles.
At one time, the country’s pharmaceutical research companies were developing 581 medicines to treat diseases that disproportionately affect Hispanic Americans, according to a 2006 report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
Right now, under the current health-care system, develop any one of the diseases most likely to afflict Latinos and either your premiums skyrocket or, worse, your insurance company is no longer interested in providing coverage.
Why?
They might actually have to pay for treatment, medicine or hospitalization. That goes against the grain of any company guarding its profit margin.

Insurance companies restrict or deny coverage by rescinding health insurance policies on the grounds that customers had undisclosed pre-existing conditions. On June 16, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing exploring this practice, with the goal of examining “the practice of ‘post-claims underwriting,’ which occurs when insurance companies cancel individual health insurance policies after providers submit claims for medical services rendered.” The committee also released a memorandum finding that three major American insurance companies rescinded 19,776 policies for over $300 million in savings over five years and that even that number “significantly undercounts the total number of rescissions” by the companies.

Yet, with health-care reform, the notion that insurance companies can’t drop a person or force them to pay beyond their means just because they develop a costly condition should be something that all Latinos should endorse.
Having a health-care policy that ensures that all people, regardless of income or current health status, are entitled to have their health valued equally is a policy that should be cheered.
The current arguments against health-care reform are disingenuous because they attempt to slant the debate in a light that no one in their right mind would want. But for a demographic who face a certainty of developing illnesses that have a high-cost medicinal maintenance in the golden years, when income is extremely limited, Latinos owe it to themselves to refuse to be the easy pawns of a majority who don’t worry about health-care costs and evaluate the current proposal to decide which sounds better — a health-care system that ensures coverage no-matter-what or the continuation of a system that favors big business and those with money.

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Comment(40)

  • Avatar
    Traci
    August 20, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Latinos who want government involved in their health care want government to pay for it, but just who pays? The government doesn’t create wealth or earn anything. The money for health care results from a transfer of wealth from the haves to the have-nots.
    Those who have health care do not wish to risk losing it due to the incompetents of politicians who historically have shown no talent at governing. There are no government safety nets or health care programs that are not predicted to fail sometime in the future. Furthermore, the democrat clowns will have the opportunity at any time to interfere in its dispensing on whim. Just as Medicare and Medicaid have been political footballs for decades, any government run health care program will have the same fate. Who wants that?
    The president wants a public option to compete with the insurance companies but it’s been obvious to all that this will ultimately result in a single payer scenario. It’s been obvious to all but idiot socialist democrats that it’s to an employers advantage to take the short term penalty of a fine then maintain insurance programs for their employees. The bottom line, profits, will improve greatly without contributions to insurance policies. Ultimately, millions will be moved to the public option, which is socialized medicine. The president is being disingenuous by claiming that you’ll be able to keep your present insurance provider. He advocated for the single payer socialist system before the election and knows full well that his current proposal will ultimately default to this system. If you still believe otherwise I pity you.
    If I have health care now, why should I support subsidizing Latinos who haven’t enough money to make an equal contribution to pay for it? And Latinos not only want cheap health care subsidized by middle and wealthy Americans, they want their illegal alien friends to get the same. Hmm… and they have the audacity claim that illegal aliens pay their way. Some advocates have the audacity to claim that we save money because illegal aliens use our very expensive emergency rooms. Well, we may even save more money by deporting them all by attrition. No jobs, no means of support, no presence in this country, and no welfare in the form of free or subsidized health care, period!
    Personally I don’t believe that Americans in general owe Latinos health care anymore than we owe them the guarantee of employment. If I can’t rationalize the latter, than why in good conscience would I wish to guarantee them the former?
    The only aspect of health care that our government should have involvement in is solving the ever escalating costs for health care services. Reducing the rate of inflation of health care has to happen or not even the middle class will be able to afford it.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    August 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Latinos have been silent on healthcare reform? You’re kidding, right? There are a gazillion blogs out there with mostly Latinos on them and they vehemently voice their opinion on this issue up to an including insulting those who don’t like Obama’s plan. Even they want healthcare reform but just not Obama’s version of it. Another example of this supposed silence by Latinos was the hundreds of thousands of them that marched in our streets over illegal immigration. Silent? I don’t think so!
    I wasn’t aware that Latinos are more predisposed to the illnesses that you mentioned. Got a link to that? What is it attributed to?
    I think a lot of the reason that Latinos want Obama’s version of healthcare reform is their belief/desire that their illegal friends and relatives will be able to buy into this government program and get full coverage rather than the maternity and emergency room care that they only receive now.

  • Avatar
    MH
    August 20, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I am impressed at the amount of overtime and huge investment the lobbyist have been putting forth to destroy the Obama administration health care reform act. When insurance went private these middle men were able to jack up the price and keep them rising without real regulation at all. And now when the American people and President decide to stop the bleeding, the Republicans readminister the “fear factor” causing chaos and uproar. Its amazing to see Republican owned Fox news station being the first to highlight these town hall meetings. Well the people in these town halls do not represent the rest of America. We need change and we need it soon, the longer we wait the more Americans get left behind at the Insurance companies discretion. We as voters need to read the reform plan ourselves and stop allowing lobbyist and media to do the research for us. Government run healthcare may or may not be the way to go but we might be able to salvage some of the plan so that it can benefit all of us.We cannot believe everything we are told we must take initiative and do what is right and not what is in benefit of some profit motivated company.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    August 21, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Writing on blogs and appearing at Town Hall meetings or being quoted in the local paper or on newscasts are very different ways to get voices heard. So, yeah, I stand by my original statement, and immigration marches? Not sure why you’re invoking the marches unless you’re trying to confuse the issue again of saying undocumented immigrants benefit from any healthcare reform which is an outright lie. I thought better of you Cookie — stay on track please.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    August 21, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Marisa, I brought up the marches because portraying Latinos as being silent on any issue is false. Blogs are just another way to express ones’s concerns and views just as Town Hall meetings are. Many people would rather read blogs than going to these meetings and they can be just as far reaching and influential.
    Since no one is allowed to ask one’s status in this country other than ICE, it is quite likley that illegals will gain coverage with Obmaa’s healthcare reform plan.

  • Avatar
    Henriqe
    August 21, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    “Well the people in these town halls do not represent the rest of America.”
    It’s easy to say this MH, but these Americans apparently want to keep the insurance they have and have no interest in trusting the government with their health care. Where in the Constitution of the U.S. does it say that the federal government should have control of our health care insurance? By what right do the politicians have to penalize employers for not paying for health care? Watch for a challenge to this high handed approach to socialism on the SCOTUS docket in the future.
    If 80 percent of Americans are happy with their health care, what right to the other 20 percent have to force them to change? Judging by the aforementioned facts, I’d say that those expressing outrage at change to their health care are doing so with good cause and with great sincerity. Politicians who say that they do not represent a good portion of America risk losing the mid term elections, big time.

  • Avatar
    Benjamin
    August 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    “……..to confuse the issue again of saying undocumented immigrants benefit from any healthcare reform which is an outright lie.”
    An outhright lie, when Latinos marched in the streets it was for a pathway to citizenship and demands for rights equal to citizens? If free health care isn’t one of those rights you intend for the illegal alien marchers, then tell us. People who can barely scratch for a living will not be equal contributors to universal health care. Yes, Marisa, to anyone with good sense, it appears that illegal aliens or the amnestied com-padres would certainly be participants in such a plan. Lies? It’s you progressives that are being disingenuous or self delusional about the characterization of your marchers. Cookie isn’t lying, just being insightful and honest. Try it yourself.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    August 22, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Benjamin, It’s one thing to march for it and quite another for it to be granted and passed into law – which it has not. I wish you and others exhibited the good sense you claim to have to read what the writing says in any version of the health bill. Unfortunately, propagating this kind of misinformation leads me to believe that you are either wanting to read something that doesn’t exist just to bolster support for your opposing views or hatred for a group of people has been so deeply seeded in you that you would pass a bleeding man on the street and check his legal status before helping him. The kind of world you are advocating is a sad existence for any species. If you cared, you would think of a compromise and you, nor Cookie nor Tracie have done any of that. It’s all or nothing with you and that’s not an honest effort to find a solution. It’s just a way of saying “It’s my way or no way.” No one, on either side, gets that privilege of absolute power. Why don’t you expend some energy on thinking of a compromise rather than regurgitate every conservative talk show host’s rants. Can you think for yourself?

  • Avatar
    Benjamin
    August 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    The fact is Marisa, the American people established their policy on immigration long ago, one which excludes inundating our nation with poverty level and ill educated immigrants. We’ve established unwritten goals of a literate society, and you deliberately seek to undermine that with your compassion. After your friends decided that our immigration policies didn’t apply to them and they’ve suffered the consequences of their current illegal status, you and they demand change to your advantage and much to the detriment of your fellow citizens. I, as a citizen feel no obligation to your friends.
    Where is the mercy that the population of Mexico should feel towards its own. By all accounts it is an unjust society, where little compassion is felt towards the very people they drive across our borders. Mexico’s idea of economics is to drive people into the desert in search of a better life. I call that extremely cruel, but Mexicans and you say nothing of those who are responsible, preferring to blame American employers for the magnet of employment.
    There’s little doubt that your illegal alien friends will require a tremendous amounts of boot-strap money to bring them up to our standard of living. I, and others here refuse to play the Mexican game that imposes the burden of that country’s negligence upon our taxpayers. You, Marisa, and others here are pawns in the Latin American game of dumping human beings as though the are refuse, and sadly, you can’t seem to realize this.

  • Avatar
    George
    August 22, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    “The kind of world you are advocating is a sad existence for any species.”
    It’s the same world that Mexican illegal aliens come from, one of a plutocracy, where the wealthy have no pity on the poor, but you fail to advocate that it is Mexico that should change. We didn’t create this situation, Latin Americans did, and it is they that should correct it. Why should we compromise, when Mexicans won’t? This isn’t just a matter of permitting them to stay, this is a question of spending millions of dollars on people who were never invited here, money that should be rightfully spent on the poor who are already citizens. There is truly a zero-sum game here. The money you would spend to subsidize these people is not yours to give, it is the American peoples, and most don’t feel obligated to do so. Lastly, you have nothing to offer in the compromise. What you want is total capitulation to the Latino will.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    August 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Marisa, without an enforcement mechanism and an explicit requirement to check the bona fides of every insurance applicant, it is not appropriate to say that there is a big loophole for illegals to get in on Obama’s healthcare plan?
    As far as your remark about any of us not stopping to help someone bleeding in the streets that was just an attempt to demonize our side with a false statement. I know of no one that would be that heartless or who would deny illegals “emergency” care.
    I have seen no compromise on your side either. The Republicans have offered different options to Obama’s bill but the liberal, progressives will not allow it. The same goes for your side on a CIR bill. It is your way or the highway. You want amnesty but no e-verify to prevent future illegal immigration, the fence on the border for security is constantly balked at, making English our official language and removing incentives for further illegal immigration such as not giving the children born here from illegal parents instant citizenship and denying any benefits to illegal aliens and their foreign born children who are in this country is also balked at by your side. When is your side going to ocmpromise?

  • Avatar
    Benjamin
    August 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    “……….{that you would pass a bleeding man on the street and check his legal status before helping him..”
    Actually, we already provide health care on an emergency basis for virtually everyone, which no one in this blog has objected to, even me, but we don’t need Obamacare for that. It isn’t emergency care that is an issue, but it is our citizens subsidizing people who shouldn’t be in our country to begin with. Giving preventative health care is a valuable benefit of citizenship and legal residency, and will be sure to attract illegal aliens, especially if loopholes are left open that permit illicit behavior. I find it ludicrous that we should be rewarding people who we’re we deem deport-able in the first place. Why should I respect people who don’t respect my nation’s laws?
    And you know as well as I do, that if La Raza and other ethnocentrics had their way, there would be no benefit of citizenship that would be denied illegal aliens. It’s a widely belief that Hispanic advocacy groups have met behind closed doors at the White House to demand health care for illegal aliens. Since the plotters are too sneaky to meet in public and expose their desires to the press, we really don’t know what is true. So much for another promise by Obama; that his would be an sunshine law presidency. Oh well, what’s another lie or two for those who would answer back that at least he is better than other presidents. LOL! What a defense for someone who touted how much better at full disclosure his regime would be.
    The kind of world I am advocating is the one that exists now. It is you that is demanding change for your constituency. I suspect that you really don’t speak for anyone but yourself, however.
    While it is possibly true that illegal aliens probably use less health care than citizens and legal residents, when they do, they usually leave the hospital holding the bag, and consequently those with insurance lose out, as the hospital has to charge higher prices to insurance holders to make up for their losses. And it is a fact that illegal aliens cross our borders and have babies in our hospitals, and stick the U.S. with billions in unpaid bills.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    August 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Benjamin, I honestly have never heard of anyone advocating that undocumented immigrants receive or be included in the healthcare proposal. Your accusations can be turned around and the same can be said against all those who turn out to the town hall meetings packing guns and carrying Hitler-esque photos of Obama. How many of them have met in secret meetings strategizing to include undocumented immigrants in the debate for the simple reason of getting people stirred up? But again, you’re not offering a compromise to a solution. Again, it’s your way or no way and in this day and age that’s unacceptable. Give me a compromise that you can live with and let’s start working on a solution.

  • Avatar
    Ian Rigby
    August 22, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Perhaps this youtube should be seen before one says that one community is being silent about health care. It’s really shocking to see how this group treats Americans; their language and threats.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mslFPmo5Owc

  • Avatar
    Benjamin
    August 22, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    “How many of them have met in secret meetings strategizing to include undocumented immigrants in the debate for the simple reason of getting people stirred up?”
    While we KNOW about the meetings in the White House about illegal immigration, your assertion concerning the antis is merely speculative. And while the White House meetings are governmental, with expectation of openness, the anti meetings are among private citizens and neither the press nor the public have any expectation of the right to be present. And while the White House billed there meeting as one to discuss the merits of illegal immigrants, it was actually one in which the anti side was not invited. How do you or the White House expect any form of compromise when you take a closed-minded approach and omit the other side of the issue. No, your side has made up its mind for the goals of CIR, and it doesn’t include counterpoints from the other side. Our side has serious concerns about illegal immigration and you dismiss us as just mischief makers with designs of “just stirring things up.” Keep that attitude if you must, but forget about compromise if you can’t give something up to your opposition for obtaining some of your goals. That’s what compromise is all about, but something that you apparently can’t understand.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    August 23, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Thanks Ian for sharing this with Latina Lista. First off, I highly doubt that the young kid who was manhandled by the police, as the adults egged on his anger, knew anything about the healthcare debate. In fact, it’s obvious from whomever packaged this piece of propaganda that the focus of the piece never had anything to do with healthcare but blatantly trying to tie in illegal immigration to this particular debate.
    Anybody who says they want to control illegal immigration should be insulted and disgusted by this work because if ever there was an example of blatant racism, this is it. This is clearly trying to portray Latinos as the aggressors and what is obvious is that there was frustration on behalf of those Latinos who fought back the only way they knew how.
    If anybody believes the “I-can-do-one-better-than-you” exchange between the white “racists” who had the bullhorns and the Latinos who were shouting back then it’s safe to say that common sense has left you and there’s no point to explaining what is obvious to anyone with half a mind.
    Again, this has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with turning people against Latinos, not just undocumented immigrants. I find this highly offensive and as I stated, I view this as nothing more than a piece of propaganda to agitate people who already are insecure and intolerant of Latinos.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    August 23, 2009 at 9:36 am

    OK, Benjamin. I don’t have any say over the invite list at the WH but I do in this forum. So, instead of arguing over venues that are out of our control, we can start here. So, you go first. What could you live with in an immigration reform bill?
    #1 Ground Rule: Neither side can have it all their way.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    August 23, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I see this all the time in pro-illegal blogs and forums. Most Americans do not hate Latinos per se. They oppose the illegal kind and those who support them. If the shoe fits, well…. But it is portrayed by the pro-illegal side that this is totally a racist issue when clearly it isn’t. They use a few extremists to inflate their case rather than ignoring the radicals.
    There is anger and agressiveness on both sides of the healthcare bill and illegal immigration. There are no innocents here.
    I notice also that it is always white racists that are brought up in a discussion about Latinos. How soon they forget that many blacks are not very fond of them either but they rarely get mentioned.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    August 23, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    You’re right, Cookie. It exists on both sides so I’m going to extend to you the same invitation/challenge I did to Benjamin. Let’s start working on a solution for immigration reform. What can you live with. #1 Ground Rule: neither side can have it all their way.

  • Avatar
    Traci
    August 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    “This is clearly trying to portray Latinos as the aggressors and what is obvious is that there was frustration on behalf of those Latinos who fought back the only way they knew how.”
    It appeared to me that the Mexican were the aggressors. The boy approached the Americans was clearly taunting the crowd with the Mexican flag and he came back time and again to make his point, and using insulting language at that. And the claim of “taking over” by the Mexicans was clearly provocative and racist, racist in the sense that Latinos are going to take over. They imply that they would impose their ideas on the U.S. citizen, something clearly objectionable.
    I can only assume they are Mexicans, as they seemed to prefer the Mexican flag to ours. I can only imagine the negative reaction in Mexico if the U.S. flag was displayed in such an obviously subversive and taunting way. It is clear that it was they who approached the U.S. citizens at first, with the apparent intent to use abusive language. Claiming that the Mexicans were fighting back when the Americans were clearly in the right shows a serious anti-American bias on your part, Marisa. It was an American sponsored event and they were entitled to conduct it without interference from foreigners.

  • Avatar
    Benjamin
    August 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    “So, you go first. What could you live with in an immigration reform bill?”
    First, no CIR that includes permanent residency until a thorough and objective study of the future economic effects of giving amnesty to the millions of illegal aliens in this country has been conducted. If it is determined that they will not be net contributors to our treasury in the form of taxes, then the idea of amnesty should be abandoned. No party that has an interest in the outcome of such a study should be permitted to participate. No La Raza, on PRLDF or MALDEF or Frank Sharry type organization.
    Second, there should be no negotiations with Mexico on our immigration policies.
    Third, there should be a reduction of the Mexican legation in the U.S. to the point where their capacity is limited to serving legal residents and tourists.
    Forth, there should be a cessation of the issue of Matricular Consular cards. This is a provocative act, in that it is clearly for the aiding and abetting of illegal aliens.
    Fifth, it should be stipulated that any illegal alien given amnesty will be immediately deported if chronically unemployed.
    Sixth, no illegal alien should be given amnesty/legal residency if they do not have a sponsor who will be willing to pay their medical bills not covered by insurance should they get sick and pay their debt should they accrue one.
    Seventh, no illegal alien who has committed identity theft will be given amnesty/legal residency.
    Eighth, no illegal alien who is to be given amnesty/legal residency who has committed a misdemeanor or worse.
    Ninth, no illegal alien who is given amnesty/legal residency will be given Earned Income Tax credits or any welfare of any kind. Amnestied illegal aliens who are given legal residency should be required to contribute to a welfare fund separate from citizens and other legal residents, to provide capital for emergency loans. Amnestied illegal aliens given legal residency shall have their own mandatory health care insurance, without subsidizing contributions from the citizens.
    Tenth, illegal aliens given amnesty/legal residency will not be included in the Census of the U.S. The will need an amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. The Latino community should not benefit politically from the presence of people who have entered the country illegally.
    Eleventh, children of illegal aliens born in this country should be prohibited from sponsoring relations for legal residency with intent to become citizens.
    Twelfth, illegal aliens given amnesty/legal residency should not be permitted to participate in Social Security. They should be required to participate in a separate fund for retirement, a fund that should be barred from subsidy by the national treasury. This money would be portable, should they return to their homeland.
    Thirteenth, only those who can show irrefutable proof that they’ve been in the country illegally prior to January 1, 2004 will be permitted amnesty. All others will be repatriated. This will accommodate those who’ve made an illicit life here for a significant time and prevent a run on the border.
    That’s only a start. By being permitted to stay, illegal aliens would be given what they have demanded, profiting by their act by being allowed to stay. Given this privilege that no other foreigners will be ever be permitted, they have absolutely no right to demand more.

  • Avatar
    Che
    August 24, 2009 at 2:44 am

    “Let’s start working on a solution for immigration reform. What can you live with. #1 Ground Rule: neither side can have it all their way.”
    -since when is federal law negotiable?

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    August 24, 2009 at 10:02 am

    It’s always been the case when it’s realized the federal law isn’t working. The most notable example is prohibition.

  • Avatar
    Traci
    August 24, 2009 at 11:38 am

    ‘It’s always been the case when it’s realized the federal law isn’t working. The most notable example is prohibition.”
    Really? That’s like saying that our criminals should have a vote on whether a laws are valid or not. Our immigration laws aren’t working as designed because the violators are overwhelming our criminal justice and immigration enforcment sytems. Rationale on your part, Marisa: Because 12 million Mexicans et al decided that our immigration laws and policies weren’t acceptable to them, it is our fault that law enforcement isn’t working, and thus we should change our national policies to accommodate them. You’d be ceding our national sovereignty to outsiders. If foreigners had their way, we’d have no right to define our borders at all. And I don’t find this as an apt comparison to prohibition, as every country in the world has it as their accepted right to deport illegal aliens. And the control of illicit alcohol production was far more difficult than immigration, as it could be done on few square yards of ground surrounded by a privacy fence.
    No rational person or nation would accept that illegl aliens should profit by their actions, and that is why CIR will never pass.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    August 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Benjamin, I could go along with much of your plan along with a few other additions.
    1. No more birhtright citizenship for children of illegal aliens.
    2. E-verify mandated in the workplace.
    3. English as our official language.
    4. Secure our borders for real this time along with continued internal enforcement afterwards.
    5. After a certain length of time these amnestied immigrants could apply for citizenship but no more sponsorng one’s “extended” family to come here by using their citizenship to do so.
    Another thing is after the study you are suggesting about the economic effects including population growth for the future, I feel to be fair we need to allow an equal number of illegal immigrants to stay from different ethnic groups.
    Let’s say that there are 12 million illegals here (although we know the number is much higher) and it is determined that we need 6 million foreign laborers to fill jobs and no more, six million will have to go home. Out of the six million allowed to stay equal numbers from different ethnic groups should make up this number. That means that some Latinos who would normally be allowed to stay under the 5 year plus rule would also have to go home. At that point anyone waiting in their homelands including those who had to leave could apply for the balance of those jobs (if they weren’t all filled) in keeping with the same ethnic quotas. It is only fair since Latinos are not the only ones who wish to come to the U.S. to work.

  • Avatar
    Benjamin
    August 24, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I suggest that illegal immigration is not comparable to the prohibition of alcohol. They didn’t eliminate prohibition to satisfy those who were imprisoned for violating the law against making moonshine. However, we would be caving to those who have or would violate out immigration laws. And if Americans had their way, we would have no illegal immigration at all, as opposed to the case where the consensus of Americans is to permit the sale and use of alcohol. And we certainly didn’t eliminate the penalties for violating our laws against illegal stills because some of Al Capone’s cohorts were going to jail at the time. The comparison is not appropriate at all.

  • Avatar
    Benjamin
    August 24, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Marisa, who should pay the medical bills of the people mentioned in this article; the citzens of this country, or the citizens of the homelands of these illegal aliens? Even if immigrants use less, those mentioned in the article use catastophiclly more, and the insured citizen gets to pay in the form of high insurance premiums.
    “Taxpayers foot the bill at University Medical Center
    http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/53675107.html#blogcomments?submitted=y
    Anyone who thinks illegal immigration is an insignificant wedge issue in this country’s already-divisive debate over health care reform need only look at Page 18A of Sunday’s Review-Journal. In a picture worth significantly more than a thousand words, three uninsured illegals lie in beds at University Medical Center, receiving emergency dialysis at a cost of between $11,000 and $18,000 apiece.
    Eviscerating any claim that illegals impose a miniscule burden on our health care system, the Review-Journal’s Paul Harasim reports that 80 illegal immigrants with failing kidneys are receiving about $2 million worth of dialysis treatments each month at UMC. Brian Brannman, UMC’s chief financial officer, projects that these 80 people alone will be responsible for about 35 percent of the public hospital’s estimated $70 million deficit in the new fiscal year.
    Bills for uncompensated care are forwarded to the recession-ravaged taxpayers of Clark County.
    “The federal government kicked the can down the road on the immigration issue and gave the bill to us,” Mr. Brannman said. “This is a federal policy failure that is driving huge health care costs to our citizens.”
    On one hand, the federal government rightly denies illegal immigrants eligibility for Medicare and other public health plans. On the other hand, federal law prevents hospitals from refusing to diagnose or treat anyone who requires emergency medical attention, regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay.
    And some in Congress bristle at the idea of cracking down on these serial abusers of our emergency services?
    Plenty of politicians and liberal special-interest groups argue that taking steps to deny uncompensated care to illegal immigrants is beyond uncompassionate — it’s inhumane. But what about the humanitarian cost of forcing sick and suffering citizens who pay into the system to wait for hours in emergency rooms because of the manpower required to treat nonpaying noncitizens?
    “There’s no question that these illegals who come for dialysis treatment at emergency rooms back everything up,” said Dr. Dale Carrison, UMC’s head of emergency services. “And there’s also no question that they need help. But this isn’t how emergency rooms were meant to be used.”
    Moreover, what about the humanitarian cost of reducing and dismantling health care services to meet the demands of illegals? How is it compassionate to give away so much costly health care to illegal immigrants that a hospital finally must close its doors, as has happened in California?
    Let this government-sponsored mess finally put to rest the myth that the uninsured and poor are dying in the streets because they lack adequate access to health care. If dozens of illegals can get dialysis treatments for years on end without paying for them, then access to health care isn’t the problem with this country’s medical services.
    The most urgent problems are rising costs and unfair cost-shifting. Illegals are a driving force behind both. Where to start?
    First, every hospital in Nevada — public and private, nonprofit and for-profit — should be demanding proof of citizenship and immigration status from uninsured patients, then notifying U.S. immigration officials and foreign consulates of every uninsured illegal immigrant who receives care.
    Federal, state and local governments track every obscure medical statistic at considerable taxpayer expense. At the very least, citizens should get exact figures on how much uninsured noncitizens are costing them in increased tax subsidies and insurance premiums — and get some assurance that illegals can’t continue to game the system by keeping their mouths and wallets shut.
    Second, someone has to pay for the untold millions of dollars worth of hospital care provided to illegal immigrants, and it shouldn’t be local taxpayers through their struggling community hospitals. Nor should our federal masters simply put the costs on their 14-figure credit card balance.
    The U.S. government has the power and standing to bill the home countries of these noncitizens for their health care. No doubt, most of these illegals have been sending a good portion of their wages to family in their native nations, to the benefit of those economies and governments. These countries certainly can afford to send some of that wealth back.
    Finally, Nevada authorities, working with the U.S. government, should put foreign countries on notice that their citizens will face immediate deportation if they accrue medical bills they cannot pay. Our legal immigration process demands that incoming residents prove they are healthy and won’t be a burden on taxpayer-funded services. Why on earth would we allow ill illegal immigrants to remain here and drain local government treasuries?
    Arizona and Florida hospitals have arranged the deportation of nonpaying illegals, so Nevada hospitals must follow suit. If nothing else, this would provide illegals with a powerful incentive to obtain health insurance or leave the United States.
    This is not to say we should put seriously ill illegals on a bus to the border and kick them to the curb. They should be treated and made as well as possible before being sent home, with transitionary care arranged by their consulates, whenever possible. That’s compassionate. That’s a humanitarian solution.
    Allowing 80 illegal immigrants to bankrupt this valley’s only public hospital is not.”

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    Liquidmicro
    August 24, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    It’s always been the case when it’s realized the federal law isn’t working. The most notable example is prohibition.
    Prohibition was put in place with a Sumptuary Law to regulate habits of consumption. In fact the 21st Amendment (the Cullen-Harrison Act) repealed the 18th Amendment (the Volstead Act limiting the amount of “intoxicating liquor” stating that any beverage which contained 0.5% alcohol by volume or higher would be covered under the act.) The amendment itself did not ban the actual consumption of alcohol, but made obtaining it legally difficult.
    Very poor example Marisa.

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    gary
    August 25, 2009 at 7:35 am

    “It’s always been the case when it’s realized the federal law isn’t working. The most notable example is prohibition.”
    Prohibition was about policies and laws developed by and imposed upon themselves through democratic means. Immigration policies and laws are developed and enacted by citizens to control foreign influences and their repurcussions, and they are imposed upon foreigners, not citizens. I think there’s quite a difference when citizens protest their own laws and when foreigners and their advocates try to impose their will on the American people. It becomes apparent every day that foreignors who are not entitled to be enfranchised by our political system are attempting to control it, and citizens are rightfully concerned, hence the objection to the display of the Mexican flag. I’m sorry that you cannot tell the difference.

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    cookie
    August 25, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Ok, now that Benjamin and myself have posted what concessions/compromises we would go along with on CIR it is your turn to post yours now, Marisa.

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    Texano78704
    August 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    What could you live with in an immigration reform bill? Well, it seems that at least one person, Benjamin, would create a vast bureaucracy to manage systems of apartheid for twelve million undocumented workers. That doesn’t exactly fit in with the concept of “less government” that is often espoused by conservatives. Aren’t they always saying that “government is the problem.”
    It seems that what some here are advocating are special sets of laws to cover what would be a special group of “resident aliens.” A separate retirement program, a separate health care system, a separate set of requirements for immigration… A separate class of people is what you are really talking about. The US Constitution erroneously supported the institution of slavery. Don’t you think we have already learned that lesson?
    As for prohibiting “children of illegal aliens born in this country should be prohibited from sponsoring relations for legal residency with intent to become citizens,” I think he’s obfuscating. What Benjamin is saying is that certain US citizens should be denied the same rights and privileges that all US citizens enjoy, in order to allay his fear of “brown people.” Never mind the fact that under the current process, an “anchor baby’s foreign relative” would have to be willing to wait 21 years.
    Illegal aliens given amnesty/legal residency will not be included in the Census of the U.S.? Your slip is showing Benjamin. Maybe you have not noticed, but the White Nationalist Party, AKA, the GOP, had a really poor showing in the 2008 elections.
    I would like to know how you go about determining whether someone has “committed a misdemeanor or worse.” Have we really become a nation that assumes that one is guilty before proven innocent?
    Seems like lots of these elements of an immigration reform bill would require amending the US Constitution. That pretty much guarantees that those provisions would be rejected from debate.
    Getting back to the topic at hand… Who should pay for health care? Put the responsibility where it really lies. If a business owner needs workers to operate, then that business owner is responsible for doing what is necessary to maintain that workforce.

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    Marisa Treviño
    August 25, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    You’re right Cookie and I promise I am going to post on what I can live with but I think this deserves its own little blog section. Give me a couple of days to make this happen and we can really start the discussion. thanks

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    laura
    August 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    The fundamental issue is that undocumented people contribute more to our society than they use, and that is because most of them are young and healthy, and because on average they have healthier habits than US born individuals. They also contribute more than average, because they do the hardest, dirtiest, most dangerous work. And they take care of the weakest people among us, our elders and children.
    At the same time, there are other people in our society whose only work consists in buying and selling financial papers back and forth. They crashed our economy and are being rewarded with personal bonuses of about a million dollars per person per year, on top of their millions of dollarsof salaries.
    Recently they received $3 trillion taxpayers’ money. That is 3,000,000,000,000. From that money, they paid themselves more bonuses – more than ever before.
    So who is abusing us and taking advantage of the hard work of Americans who keep this society running – together with the documented and undocumented immigrants?
    With regard to immigration reform: 1. keep families together 2. regularize the status of all who have been here for 2 years – and by regularize I mean not US citizenship but a visa with the right to live and to work in the US and to travel freely like a permanent resident 3. stop meddling of US government officials and US corporations in the internal affairs of other countries, most importantly Mexico but all others as well, so that those countries can finally implement a democratic process and the people can improve their lives 4. revoke NAFTA, CAFTA and all other “free trade” agreements so that each country can do what is necessary to support its industries and workers and protect its environment.

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    cookie
    August 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Laura, read the article that Paolo posted under the topic “Another Latino quits the GOP” as to what illegal aliens are doing to the state of Calif. alone. It blows your unsubstantied remarks right out of the water.
    You do know there is a lower and middle class of non-hispanic Americans in this country that are by far the majority from the rich, don’t you? They work hard and aren’t livng in mansions. They also do dirty and hard jobs. But don’t let your biasness and ethnocentricism get in the way of the truth now.
    As for your short list of what a CIR shoud be and of course without any concessions on your part just what do you mean by “keeping families together”? You had better elaborate as that is just a generalization. Families are kept together in detention (a U.S. citizen doesn’t have that option when they commit a crime). Families can be kept together by returning to their homelands. I totally disagree with your plan to legalize anyone who has been here for a minimum of 2 years. You don’t even have in your plan a study of whether or not we would have jobs for them or how this will effect our population growth in the future. I had gone along with 5 years before but after thinking it over I would increase it to 10 years for consideration.
    Stop just blaming the U.S. for “meddling”. Mexico has certainly “meddled” in our immigration policies. NAFTA, CAFTA wasn’t just signed by our country. It takes two to tango. If it isn’t working then ALL parties must agree to end them. Our jobs are being outsourced and being given away to illegal foreingers on our soil so the citizens of this country are suffering also but I see no sympathy from you for them.

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    laura
    August 27, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Keep families together here in the United States, and provide them with documents that allow them to travel easily so that if they choose, they can visit or return to their countries of origin.
    The most notable fact about today’s healthcare politics is the self-defeating delusion of Republican footfolk and right-wing European-Americans. They delude themselves into believing that their and the whole country’s troubles are caused by people who are poorer and weaker than they are. While it is in fact the for-profit insurance companies that have been running death panels for years, by dropping sick people from coverage under cover of technicalities (a process they call “recission”), the sadly deluded poor white people truly fear Obama and a government plan. They are deluded to the point where they demand, “government stay out of my Medicare.”
    The same dynamic is active in anti-immigrant circles, many of whose delusions are on display on this blog. In fact, they are often the same people.
    The sad part about it is that they are blaming the wrong people, people who are not responsible for the plight that poor white Americans, like the vast majority of all Americans, find themselves in. For this reason, the actual culprits continue to get away with robbery and murder – which is what the Wall Street firms and the for-profit medical insurance companies are doing, as testimonials on the congressional record widely show.
    As sad and as disturbing the politics of health care reform this summer have been, I have found them oddly consoling. They have clarified for me just how lost to any reality check these right-wing white Americans are. Since they are willing to demonstrate and yell and brandish guns in order to defeat health care proposals that they would be the first to benefit from financially, their hatred of immigrants – undocumented and otherwise – seems almost quaint in comparison. Not quaint in terms of its moral deficit, but quaint in terms of its irrationality and self-delusion.

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    Barry
    August 27, 2009 at 11:36 am

    “I totally disagree with your plan to legalize anyone who has been here for a minimum of 2 years. You don’t even have in your plan a study of whether or not we would have jobs for them or how this will effect our population growth in the future. I had gone along with 5 years before but after thinking it over I would increase it to 10 years for consideration.”
    It’s better to set a date than a time span, as the CIR effort could go un until the Repbulicans take power and reverse it, which they no doubt will. Time spans only encourage further illegal immigration, as illegals have a motivation to cross to wait out the deadline. Today’s one year immigrants are tomorrow’s two year.

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    cookie
    August 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Laura, you are stereotyping white, Republican Americans unfairly. No, we are not anti'”immigrant”. Lie number one. Lie number 2, no, we are not opposed to healthcare reform per se. The devil is in the details and the Democrats have ignored all Republican proposals to heathcare reform. Lie number 3, no, we do not blame all the ills of this country on illegal aliens only some of them. Lie number 4, most Republicans do not hate legal immigrants but they sure have a distaste for illegal immigration. Shouldn’t everyone?
    Why do you continue to bring up the Wall Street wealthy? They do not represent mainstream, conservative, middle class Republicans…lie number 5.
    There is no justification for keeping families in this country who have violated our immigration laws…NONE!

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    Benjamin
    August 27, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    “What could you live with in an immigration reform bill? Well, it seems that at least one person, Benjamin, would create a vast bureaucracy to manage systems of apartheid for twelve million undocumented workers.”
    Hispanics have already proposed their own apartheid, it’s call amnesty, or special privilege over every other legal resident candidate who will have to wait in their homeland.
    “That doesn’t exactly fit in with the concept of “less government” that is often espoused by conservatives. Aren’t they always saying that “government is the problem.”
    We already have such concepts. We treat the families of diplomats and tourists the same way for many of the items discussed above. And I say why should people who’ve brazenly invaded this country and seek special privilege garner all the rights of citizens as easily as those who accede to obeying the laws of the land.
    “It seems that what some here are advocating are special sets of laws to cover what would be a special group of “resident aliens.” A separate retirement program, a separate health care system, a separate set of requirements for immigration… A separate class of people is what you are really talking about. The US Constitution erroneously supported the institution of slavery. Don’t you think we have already learned that lesson?”
    If you choose to circumvent our immigration laws you shouldn’t expect the same rewards as those who don’t. If you don’t like the terms, go home. Just being permitted to stay is reward enough.
    “As for prohibiting “children of illegal aliens born in this country should be prohibited from sponsoring relations for legal residency with intent to become citizens,” I think he’s obfuscating. What Benjamin is saying is that certain US citizens should be denied the same rights and privileges that all US citizens enjoy, in order to allay his fear of “brown people.” Never mind the fact that under the current process, an “anchor baby’s foreign relative” would have to be willing to wait 21 years.”
    We already have different rules for those who are natural born and those who are naturalized. The latter cannot be president of the U.S. That’s enough precedence for me when it comes to the rights of people who gain citizenship under less than scrupulous circumstances and the rights they gain by it.
    “Illegal aliens given amnesty/legal residency will not be included in the Census of the U.S.?”
    Give me a moral justification why the Latino community, or any race or ethnic group should benefit by stuffing the country with their illegal aliens who should not be entitled to representation that they would benefit from.
    “I would like to know how you go about determining whether someone has “committed a misdemeanor or worse.” Have we really become a nation that assumes that one is guilty before proven innocent?”
    You’re an ass Texano. I’ll bet just about everyone else in this blog could assume that I was talking about those found guilty in a court of law. Duh! A senior moment for you, maybe?
    “Getting back to the topic at hand… Who should pay for health care? Put the responsibility where it really lies. If a business owner needs workers to operate, then that business owner is responsible for doing what is necessary to maintain that workforce.”
    Oh really? Seems similar to politics, where politicians need voters so they’ll pay off the voters with grants and special programs and construction projects. What other extortion will you put upon the employer to make him pay for just about everything the employee needs? The employee needs a car to get to work. He needs a house to live in. He needs food to eat. He needs a TV so he can watch the news. Do you believe that these should be given to employees before the even consider going to work? All of those items should be at the discretion of the employee, and no government should come between employers and employees when it comes to compensation. Unions have been the traditional bargaining agents for the employers, and health insurance has always been a negotiated benefit, not a national right. This should not change. Employers own nothing to an employee but a fair day’s wages for a fair days work, something that’s been the American tradition ever since its founding. Our Founding Fathers realized this, and that’s the way it should be.

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    laura
    August 28, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Marisa, this blog is an interesting illustration of my theory: that this country is going downhill at an accelerating pace due to the antisocial thought schematics of its European-American majority. In an international competition with modern Europe and with China, the United States is losing quickly. The reason: its own people are incapable of standing up for justice for themselves, let alone for others.
    This leads 1. to wars of aggression as the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan that end up draining the resources of the country, and turning hundreds of thousands of young people who should be in the most productive years of their life into physical and emotional cripples and 2. to inability to take care of its own citizens’ most fundamental needs, most prominently healthcare, housing, and education.
    Do you know what I believe the best hope for the revival of this country is? The moral strength and healthy habits of its minorities, most prominently the Latina/o minority whose first generation still knows what a family is, still knows what healthy eating is – tortillas, beans, and vegetables, or rice, beans, and vegetables – and still knows what hard work is.
    Moral strength consists in standing up not only for my own self-interest, financial and otherwise, but for the benefit of everyone, especially the weak and helpless people – children, old people, disabled people.
    I don’t want to over-idealize Latina/os – your post about high-school drop-out rates and my knowledge of machismo and violence against women is enough to clarify that Latina/os have plenty of problems, including moral problems. Plus the fact that the Latina/o community is simply a community of language with incredible heterogeneity in every other respect, so that generalizations make only very limited sense. But still it is striking to me that the people in this country who have a sense of conscience that includes everyone else, not just one’ own narrow circle, bring this conscience with them from their other countries of origin.
    This conscience used to exist here too. But that was two generations ago. Senator Kennedy was one of its most prominent representatives.
    My hope is that there is a minority in this country who still has a community conscience, and this minority eventually will become a majority. But I could be wrong. Maybe the country is just going the path that Russia went 25 years ago. Certainly the situation in Afghanistan looks just like that. And many of your guest posters are working hard to finalize the disintegration of the country into a horde of screaming, violent, anti-social individuals whose only cohesive force is hatred for people who look and talk differently than they do.

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    Kenny
    September 4, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Laura says we are going down hill “………..at an accelerating pace due to the antisocial thought schematics of its European-American majority. In an international competition with modern Europe and with China, the United States is losing quickly.”
    That’s interesting. Mexicans are still kicking their illegal aliens out of their country. France, Spain and Italy are doing the same and Germany is fed up with theirs. China, Venezuela, Cuba and Russia, et al, are repressive of all political thought and abusers of human rights, and you seem to believe that the U.S. is somehow losing in some competition for social justice. How funny!

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