Mar 19, 2007
In the last half of 2006, state governments began enforcing a new federal law that denies Medicare and Medicaid to anyone who doesn’t have perfectly certified legal papers.
This law was touted as an anti-fraud measure against undocumented immigrants. As a result, many undocumented immigrants have been denied benefits to which their work had entitled them. But the same thing is true for even more U.S. citizens who are poor, as a New York Times investigation reported.
A Georgia pediatrician said, “Georgia now has 100,000 newly uninsured U.S. citizen children of low-income families.”
A Florida Department of Children and Families spokesman said, “We’ve seen an increase in the number of people who don’t qualify for Medicaid because they cannot produce proof of citizenship. Nearly all of these people are American citizens.” Since last July, 63,000 children have been cut off of Medicaid in Florida.
State after state repeats the story. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a family lacking the fee of twenty or thirty dollars per person for a state birth certificate. Sometimes the problem is as daunting as the Katrina refugees whose records were all lost. Sometimes persons born years ago in rural areas never had birth certificates. This law hits everyone equally.
It’s no accident. Every law passed under the cover of being against “illegal” immigrants is aimed in one way or another at every worker, the employed and the unemployed.
Full legal rights for everyone, without all this legal double-talk!