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Undocumented Immigrants with Health Insurance
In the United States there are about 11.7 million undocumented immigrants and like any
other person they are going to need go to the hospital or be seen by a doctor at sometime. In
order for an individual to avoid the extreme high costs of medical bills they get health insurance,
but for undocumented immigrants they are barred from this. Although it is stated in the
Affordable Care Act that undocumented immigrants cannot receive any form of insurance, there
are loopholes that allow them to go around these restrictions. Since they are able to go around the
law, how is this economically affecting citizens and the United States? Undocumented
immigrants should not be able to receive federal, state, or county funded health coverage through
community health centers and Emergency Medicaid because in order for these options to remain
effective in the United States it uses taxpayer’s money and grants to help fund them. By allowing
undocumented immigrants access to these options will only lead to more economic conflicts and
hardship.
The Affordable Care Act is a law that allows Americans to own health insurance or find
health coverage’s through programs like Medical, Medicaid, or Emergency Medicaid at an
affordable cost, but in order to do so one must be a legal citizen. It instills that citizens get
“expanded coverage, garneted more choice, and enhance the quality of care for Americans”
(Medicaid.gov) but the law does exclude one social good, undocumented immigrants, it prevents
them “from participating in state exchange insurance market places” (Edward, Jean), but there
are loopholes that allow them to find ways to bypass the law through places and programs such
as health centers and Emergency Medicaid. All of these are funded through federal grants or
through taxpayer money. Not only is the government funding the option for citizens to get

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medical help; they are also funding people here illegally. So the question is, what are these
undocumented immigrants doing to America’s economy?
According to writer Matt Cover for the CNSNews article the Federation for American
Immigration Reform (FAIR) calculated about $11 billion is spent a year treating illegal
immigrants. Which leads to the question, how are they able to receive treatment? Because by law
hospitals cannot ask a person for a person’s legal status, it creates a loophole by allowing
undocumented immigrants the opportunity to go to a hospital where they take advantage of the
Emergency Medicaid program. Over the years it has been seen that through the Emergency
Medicaid program a large amount of those who use this are people here illegally. Instead of
having poor citizens utilize this program, undocumented immigrants are the ones exploiting this
program instead. Based on Matt Cover’s findings, “According to the CIS study, illegals
accounted for 13.1 percent of all federal costs of covering the uninsured in 2004, an estimated
$2.2 billion per year. Seventeen percent of households headed by an illegal immigrant were using
Medicaid, accounting for 1.7 percent of all Medicaid recipients.” The United States provides
citizens with Medicaid so that they are insured but more undocumented immigrants are finding
ways to access this program, which lead to seeing more illegals using this program. Since its
been seen that they use the program more than citizens we can concluded that they are only
taking away from federal funding that could be used for the uninsured citizens. Taxpayers also
pay for, “Each anchor baby [that] costs taxpayers an estimated $10,000 each on average… These
costs are usually paid through Medicaid, the federal program designed to aid America’s poor.”
(Matt Cover). As you can see here again, not only are programs for citizens being taken away,
taxpayers money is being used to take care of people who do not contribute in yearly taxes
because they are here illegally.

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Similar to hospital’s Emergency Medicaid program, community health centers are
locations where they do not inquire about immigration status and they are also federally funded
through grants. Based on an article from the American Medical Association in 2007, Anjana Lal
found that 99 percent of North Carolia’s health care spending as well as frequent visits to the
hospital was spent on undocumented immigrants. Because health centers do not ask a person
what their legal status is, it create a loophole that allows an undocumented immigrant to take
advantage of federal money to fund their health issues. Due to health care spending on
undocumented immigrants it is unfair to taxpayers to see how their money is being spent.
Because these centers are funded by the government, this place should only be offered to citizens
who cannot afford to have insurance and, or cannot afford to go to a private care facility.
Facilities and programs like these are just part of the many things citizens pay for through taxes,
but with loopholes it is not right that taxpayers money is being used to pay for those illegally
here.
Although majority of people would argue that undocumented immigrants are human too
who need the same medical help as a citizen, I can argue that the United States cannot continue
to medically support those here illegally when it’s citizens should be the ones who should come
first. Granted if the United States does not treat an illegal person that has a contagious disease
such as the newly found disease in America, Ebola, than it would only lead to a mass outbreak;
however logically this would not happen due to strict health regulations the state has set. A
person may also argue say that it is unfair for an undocumented immigrant to not receive any
medical help from programs that help citizens with their financial status, but health programs
like Medicaid and Emergency Medicaid are federally funded through taxpayer money which
they again do not help contribute to at the end of the year. Although they should not have the

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chance of receiving medical help through federal programs, they should have a chance to buy
private health insurance; even though this may not be the best financial root to go for them, it is
the only way to insure citizens come first. Based on what is morally correct and logically correct,
the United States must put its citizens first by allowing sole access of health care to citizens only.
With the 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, governments
cannot afford to continue to fund medical programs that are mainly being used by those here
illegally. Seeing that pregnant undocumented immigrants only come to the states so that their
children become citizens where they go through the Emergency Medicaid program that is only
increasing the amount of federal taxpayer money being spent on them rather than on citizens.
Over the years it has been found that more illegal immigrants are using federal programs like
Medicaid and Emergency Medicaid than do citizens. Although it is financially difficult for illegal
immigrants to own privately bought insurance, it is the only way to insure that citizens get access
for programs their paying for and that illegal immigrants are also following the law by being
insured. Ultimately by not creating stricter laws that cut down on loopholes within federal, state,
or county funded programs such as the Emergency Medicaid program and community health
centers. Than economic spending on illegal immigrants will only continue to increase.

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Works Cited
"Affordable Care Act | Medicaid.gov." Affordable Care Act | Medicaid.gov. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
Cover, Matt. "Illegal Immigrants Account for $10.7 Billion of Nation's Health Care Costs, Data
Show." CNS News. 29 July 2009. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.
Edward, Jean. "Undocumented Immigrants and Access to Health Care: Making a Case for Policy
Reform." Undocumented Immigrants and Access to Health Care: Making a Case for
Policy Reform. 6 May 2014. Web. 26 Nov. 2014.
Lal, Anjana. "Virtual Mentor." VM. American Medical Association, 2007. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.
Preston, Julia. "Number of Illegal Immigrants in U.S. May Be on Rise Again, Estimates Say."
The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
Zamosky, Lisa. "Health Care Options for Undocumented Immigrants." Los Angeles Times. Los
Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.