Cost of Illegal-Immigrant Obesity Ignored by Gang of Eight?
The reason for high obesity rates in Mexico? Genes, says the Economist. According to their research, the poverty argument -- that the poor have access to food, but not the right kind of food – is not valid. More impoverished countries such as India or Indonesia have far lower obesity rates, say the OECD's study (2.4 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, versus Mexico’s 30 percent). The same is true for many similarly poor nations such as Poland, Turkey, and Greece (12.5 percent, 15 percent, and 18 percent, respectively). Also, according to the Economist, Mexican-Americans in the U.S. are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be diagnosed with diabetes.
The genetic argument says the OECD’s figures will largely persist in the future, and that the CBO’s projected costs of amnesty in a post-Obamacare America will grow far larger than expected.
Being a national average, the OECD’s 30 percent obesity figure includes but probably does not capture the rate of Mexico’s poor and less educated, a group which is far more likely to be obese, and is no doubt overrepresented in the U.S. illegal alien population. Using an “inequality index” to measure the correlation of obesity and education, the report found that in some countries the most poorly educated can be as much as five times more likely to be obese than someone at the higher end (no figures were available for Mexico). This, coupled with the greater “fertility” of those expecting amnesty, as Jeb Bush noted recently, means the costs of legalization with immediate or future access to Obamacare will be compounded further going forward.
That these very real problems were not factored into CBO’s analysis makes it appear neither dynamic nor comprehensive. The problems associated with obesity, the OECD concludes, are best curbed through preventative care and education. For the U.S., however, the best preventative solution might be to kill the amnesty bill.