September 15, 2009
OLD SPIN: Nobody’s Talking About Killing Granny!
New Spin: What’s Wrong With Killing Granny?
Plus, Old Spin: Nobody’s Talking about Health Care for Illegals!
UPDATE: Reader Richard Gelb writes:
As a loyal reader, and an interventional cardiologist, I need to make the following point:
Health care cannot be denied to illegal aliens, as long as they are in the country. Sure, nobody would argue that they should be given free Viagra, or scooter chairs, or whatever, but what about dialysis, or emergency heart attack care? (The last three heart attacks I have treated were all illegal aliens–migrant workers.) How does it work? Do I refuse to treat them, which is a violation of my oath as a doctor, or do I just continue to eat the cost, as I do now? What about their followup care? Am I on the hook for that too?
The only practical solution, short of sealing the border completely, is some kind of reimbursement for the care of illegals. My idea is a tax credit to offset my costs. For that matter, giving doctors tax credits for treating the uninsured would solve a lot of problems at much less cost. Since we are mostly in high tax brackets, we would actively compete for these patients. Give the same credits to hospitals and diagnostic centers, and the problem of followup care and ancillary services are mostly solved too.
Simply not insuring illegal aliens, or any other unfavored group, unfairly passes the cost of their care onto me, my colleagues and struggling hospitals, which is the current status quo–not fair!