The Costs of Immigrants and Our Healthcare System

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Advocates for a bill to provide health care to undocumented immigrants rally in at the Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo by LA Times/Hector Amezcua)

The Costs of Immigrants and Our Healthcare System

August 10, 2018

9:43 p.m.

This isn’t the type of story that normally gets attention in the news, and that is exactly why I am posting it.

The International Journal of Health Services study concluded that immigrants use less health care than non-immigrants, and ready for this, may actually subsidize healthcare of U.S. citizens.

Findings were by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine.

Since 2000, studies were examined that focused on health care expenditures by immigrants. When compared to U.S. born individuals, the immigrants were found to have lower rates of health care use and per capita expenditures. This includes both public and private insurance sources.

Regardless of the age group, immigrants using healthcare was between 50 -75% of those born in the United States and immigrants also paid more out-of-pocket.

Immigrants actually pay more into the “system.”

“Immigrants have been blamed for a range of problems plaguing the U.S., including health care costs. But studies demonstrate that immigrants are propping up the Medicare Trust Fund by paying much more into Medicare than they will ever receive in benefits. Recent immigrants are substantially healthier than native-born Americans, which benefits the American health care economy. But to maintain their health over the long term, new immigrants—and all Americans—need access to good health care. Denying care to immigrants is a human rights violation that cannot be justified based on costs, and indeed may raise costs in the future.” Lila Flavin, a medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine and author of the study.

“Our findings show that immigrants are clearly bringing down per capita  health care costs and are likely subsidizing care for native-born Americans. Instead of attacking immigrants for driving up costs, we should recognize their proven economic contributions.” Senior author Dr. J. Wesley Boyd, psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance and associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

There are facts and then there are alternative facts.

Alexander Hernandez, Esq.
@mcatty_alex

 

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