At What Cost? The Social and Economic Implications of an Undocumented Immigrant's Access to Health Care
Primary health care services are the cornerstone of a productive society. Therefore, limiting the access of primary care services to any segment of the population will ultimately result in serious negative economic and social consequences for the general public. In the United States, there are an estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants who have been unequivocally limited in their access to primary health care services. Federal legislation and state policies have directly targeted noncitizens from receiving public benefits in an effort to control spending and reduce deficits. However, this approach is short sighted. In order to comprehend the broad impact of denying undocumented immigrants access to primary care services this paper explores the economic and social limitations, costs and implications of current health care policy in the United States.Applying the theory of external diseconomies this paper analyzes how the various social and economic barriers erected by federal and state governments have resulted in a number of unintended consequences. These consequences include: jeopardizing broader public health goals, raising the cost of health care and the cost Medicaid expenditures. These negative outcomes are exacerbated by the fact that the limitations impact much more than just the undocumented immigrants. They carry over to the underinsured, the uninsured and the indigent who also rely heavily on these public and private benefits. In conclusion, in order to ensure the future prosperity of the United States the federal government will have to consider alternatives to current health care policies if they wish to maintain a healthy and productive workforce in the future.
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Chang, Cindy (2005)
Restrictions on Undocumented Immigrants' Access to Health Services: The Public Health Implications of Welfare Reform Kullgren, Jeffrey T. (2003-10)The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 greatly restricts the provision of many federal, state, and local public services to undocumented immigrants. These restrictions have prompted ...