Would Immigration Reform Destroy Health Care Reform?
That’s the argument that the Center for Immigration Studies director Mark Krikorian makes in his latest post at the National Review.
Obviously the Obamacare proposal is an abomination and Congress needs to throw it out and start from scratch. But whatever they come up with, the lesson for immigration is unchanged — in an era when we have massive transfers of taxpayer funds to the poor, whether through Medicaid or food stamps or public-education funding or whatever, you just can’t keep importing more and more poor people. The libertarians will say the answer is to abolish all of these taxpayer-funded programs; but even if that’s true, until we do abolish them, ongoing mass immigration is simply unjustifiable.
Anticipating the argument, the Immigration Policy Center has already put together its defense for why immigrants are NOT a drag on government-supported health care.
Yesterday, the center issued its own fact sheet showing that: U.S. citizens make up more than three-quarters of the uninsured; immigrants incur significantly fewer health care costs than the rest of the population because they tend to be younger and healthier; and legalizing immigrants will add to the number of healthy, working-age people paying into Medicaid, Medicare and any new government-supported health care programs and thus reduce the burden on the rest of U.S. taxpayers.
Expect this debate to heat up in the months to come.