"Illegal Aliens and American Medicine"

Hey, want to be depressed? The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons) has an article about illegal immigration in their latest issue. It's only available in PDF format, and here's the beginning:

The influx of illegal aliens has serious hidden medical consequences.We judge reality primarily by what we see. But what we do not see can be more dangerous, more expensive, and more deadly than what is seen.

Illegal aliens' stealthy assaults on medicine now must rouse Americans to alert and alarm. Even President Bush describes illegal aliens only as they are seen: strong physical laborers who work hard in undesirable jobs with low wages, who care for their families, and who pursue the American dream.

What is unseen is their free medical care that has degraded and closed some of Americaís finest emergency medical facilities, and caused hospital bankruptcies: 84 California hospitals are closing their doors. "Anchor babies" born to illegal aliens instantly qualify as citizens for welfare benefits and have caused enormous rises in Medicaid costs and stipends under Supplemental Security Income and Disability Income.

...many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease...

It gets much more depressing.

See this WND article for a summary if you don't want to read the whole PDF.


Sixty percent of the county's uninsured patients are not U.S. citizens. More than half are here illegally. About 2 million undocumented aliens in Los Angeles County alone are crowding emergency rooms because they can't afford to see a doctor.

According to the State Association of Hospitals (search), California's public health system is "on the brink of collapse." In Los Angeles County, patients can wait four days for a hospital bed and up to two years for gallbladder surgery.
"We're citizens here. Why should somebody from another country that's here illegally get anything that we can't get? I mean that's dumb, that's not right," said Don Schenck, whose son, Bill, is mentally disabled.

Though the Schencks are uninsured, and considered poor by county standards, his father had to find a way to pay for his Bill's care while thousands of others, in the country illegally, get it for free.

deccles: While I'm sure Dr. Cosman is well educated and experienced, her article takes a few of the issues discussed and removes them completely out of context, thus misleading all of us.

Whatever your problems are, illegal immigration doesn't help solve them. Illegal immigration decreases the per capita funding available for legal residents because most illegals don't pay income taxes, but do end up in emergency rooms that are required by law to take them in as patients. One really smart cancer patient flew in from abroad and parked himself in the emergency room of a New York area hospital, where he proceeded to get himself fixed up by some of the finest oncologists around, courtesy of the US taxpayer.

I should have added: there is nothing in the original post that is inaccurate.

Response to the above post
1.. The children of illegal aliens born in the US are automatically US citizens and potentially eligible for SSI. Probably most people in the US don't know that the US is virtually the only developed country that gives automatic citizenship to children of aliens. In most countries newborns receive the citizenship of their parents.
2. Illegal aliens are eligible for emergency medical care and prenatal care in the US. Illegal aliens have no sponsors so sponsor liability does not apply.
3. Two-thirds of the welfare budget does indeed go to medical providers of all sorts- not just corporations.
4. I think most grass-roots immigration have no love for corporations that outsource jobs and hire illegal aliens. Both outsourcing and high levels of immigration(both legal and illegal) are means of driving down wages and benefits.

While I'm sure Dr. Cosman is well educated and experienced, her article takes a few of the issues discussed and removes them completely out of context, thus misleading all of us.
Welfare eligibility.
Here's the law, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Immigrants are eligible for TANF on a limited basis.
The passage of welfare reform brought dramatic changes in services for immigrant families. Current law states that families who entered the country before August 22, 1996 may immediately receive services, while those who entered after this date may only receive services once they've been in the United States for five years. In May 2002, the nutrition title in the Farm Bill restored food stamp benefits for all immigrant children (as of October 2003) no matter what their date of entry to the United States.
There's one important caveat to the issue of immigrant eligibility for TANF: under current law, the income of an immigrants sponsor can be deemed to be the immigrants income. Not only does this provision make the radical assumption that a sponsors income is accessible to the immigrant, it also effectively boosts the income of many immigrants, thereby making them ineligible for TANF.

For example, SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, permits payment of Social Security benefits to non-citizens living in the United States (U.S.) only if they are lawfully present in this country. The law requires that anyone living in the U.S. who applies for Social Security benefits on or after December 1, 1996, must provide evidence that he or she is a U.S. citizen or U.S. national, or an alien lawfully present in the U.S. as determined by the Attorney General.
As you can plainly see, the law regarding eligibility clearly states any person illegally in the US does NOT qualify for SSI benefits. This came directly from the SSI website.
Nice try.
Additionally, SSI has strict qualifications for deciding if a child or adult qualifies for disability benefits. Here they are.
"Social Security