09 July 2009

Collapsing 'Universe' in Health 'Reform'

Framed as yet another "wedge issue," and superfluous to true health care reform, immigrants' rights joins reproductive justice on the Congressional chopping block. Excuse us, but what ever happened to the term universal?

Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change, shares his thoughts on the matter in the Huffington Post:
All of the plans getting serious consideration in Congress would exclude undocumented immigrants. Many proposals would even bar access to community health centers and emergency rooms -- a historic shift from America's humanitarian tradition that in an emergency no one should be turned away. Some proposals would exclude legal resident immigrants who have been in the United States for less than five years. Unless the debate takes a different turn, millions of immigrants will be left out of the system.

We should not enshrine discriminatory principles into a new health care system. A "universal" health care program that leaves out millions of Americans is a fraud. Just as we stand up for other core principles in the health care debate -- quality, affordability, a strong public plan -- we need to stand up for immigrant coverage as an essential component of just and effective health care reform. Read more

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