Free Health Insurance for Migrants is Lunacy

By Betsy McCaughey Published on January 4, 2024

Across the globe, millions of people are on the move, defying borders and violating laws to escape poor countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and break into rich countries. The United States is their No. 1 destination.

The U.S. needs a strategy to limit the burden on Americans and protect our quality of life. Instead, the Democratic Party merely virtue signals, saying, “Welcome, take whatever we have.”

The Left’s Priority: Spend Money on Migrants

As of Jan. 1, California is offering Medi-Cal to approximately 760,000 undocumented migrants of all ages.

California’s health care system is already strained, with long emergency room wait times and a dire nurse shortage. A shortage of beds and mental health facilities prevents municipalities from moving the thousands of drug-addicted homeless people off the streets and into treatment. The state faces a staggering $68 billion deficit.

Many European and Scandinavian countries are adjusting their policies to protect their own residents from undue burdens. The U.S. is simply surrendering.

Yet the Left opts to spend money on migrants instead of on California’s own, showing utter disregard for the health care of local residents.

The California Republican Party warns that adding 760,000 undocumented people to the state’s health insurance rolls will exacerbate “access problems.” In short, Californians will wait longer and settle for less care.

Blue State Lunacy

Don’t think this lunacy is limited to one state. Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, Illinois, Washington state and Massachusetts already cover migrants in specific age categories, and left-wing lawmakers are pushing to expand the coverage to all ages. New York lawmakers came close in June, but ended the legislative term without passing it.

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In blue state after blue state, Democrats are pushing to give migrants taxpayer-funded health coverage. It’s a knife in the back of hardworking Americans who struggle to pay medical bills. It will also doom this nation to a never-ending flood of strangers seeking government handouts.

Connecticut’s Democratic-controlled legislature has gone off the deep end, offering “Baby Bonds,” or taxpayer-funded savings accounts, for every child — including children of migrants in the country illegally — whose birth is covered by the state’s HUSKY public insurance program, even if their migrant parents arrived just days before the birth. Nest eggs courtesy of the taxpayer, for the express purpose of “closing the wealth gap.”

Free Health Care is a Magnet

The Democratic Party’s zeal to provide migrants with free health insurance is extreme, compared with what is occurring around the globe, even in socialist-leaning countries.

In June, the Biden administration made the U.S. one of only a few first-world countries to sign on to the Rabat Declaration, sponsored by the United Nations, which declares that all migrants should have access to a country’s national health insurance programs. Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Sweden and several other European countries that receive large numbers of migrants did not sign.

Even socialist countries like Norway are strictly limiting migrants to emergency care only, no comprehensive health insurance. French President Emmanuel Macron’s government is reassessing whether it can provide health benefits to migrants.

These countries see what the Democratic Party in the U.S. refuses to admit: that free health care is a magnet.

Contrary to Vice President Kamala Harris’ blather, the flood of migrants across the southern border is not due to “root causes” the United States can ameliorate with diplomacy and foreign aid. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Many European and Scandinavian countries are adjusting their policies to protect their own residents from undue burdens. The U.S. is simply surrendering.

The Results are Predictable

Offering health insurance also invites an influx of sick people from countries that cannot provide care. Venezuela’s health care system has collapsed. Hospitals there lack 80% to 90% of essential medicines, a situation that is pushing the sick and their families to flee. Neighboring Brazil is reporting the reappearance of communicable infections such as tuberculosis, hepatitis A, whooping cough, diphtheria and measles because of the influx of Venezuelans needing care. Expect similar problems in the U.S.

Open borders, free meals and hotel rooms, and promises of free health coverage produce predictable results. Migration across the U.S. southern border set yet another record in December.

As Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) commented on Newsom’s health policy, “Nothing is free, the California taxpayers have to pay for it.” She added, “It’s treason. No other way to say it.”

At the least, it’s a betrayal.

 

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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