Health Care For Illegal Aliens – Is it an Inalienable Right?

At a time when health care reform is causing a controversial debate, an anti-immigration group, The Federation for American Immigration Reform, correctly points out that illegal aliens could participate in the proposed national health insurance exchange.

This insurance exchange compares health insurance plans and informs everyone which is the most economical for them with the features that are most desired by them. In many ways it is comparable to Progressive for Car insurance. Included in the cost and feature comparison would be the new government-run plan, instituted to compete with the private sector.

It is interesting to note that illegal immigrants would be paying for their own insurance albeit the public plans just like everyone else according to That is really no different than what is currently in place where illegal aliens can purchase private insurance. The difference is that aliens would not get the “premium credits” which are supposedly in place to compete with and lower the current private insurance policies.

Same Problem-Different Place:
Immigrants are similarly censured in other nations. Illegal immigrants in European Union countries have been denied access to publicly funded health care and the care is limited to trauma, emergencies or conditions that pose a risk to those around them.

Article 35 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000) identifies everyone ‘s right to preventative health care and the right to medical treatment but certain limitations were placed on this according to nationality and migration status.

In Great Britain, aliens are not charged for hospital care including emergency room visits or admissions to the hospital. However, inpatient or outpatient treatment can be charged to the nonresident with the exception of a communicable disease.

In Spain, only obstetrics, and emergency room visits as well as admissions are available to all, in concurrence with international human rights treaties. Since January 2000 with the passing of Organic Law #8, illegal immigrants are fully entitled to the same health care as citizens as long as they register. Unregistered aliens are covered if they are minors under 18.

The Italian National Health Plan provides universal coverage for everyone, free of charge, functioning under the tenet of human dignity (i.e. health care is a right for everyone in need) Illegal immigrants here may enjoy the same rights if they fill out a governmental form denying sufficient financial resources.

In the Netherlands, healthcare need is determined to be urgent or needed by the healthcare provider. Discriminatory attitudes may subconsciously influence the inability to then have access to health care.

While the whole issue is controversial and the debate is heated here in the United States, you must ask to consider the following scenarios. Should aliens who have an extreme infection be allowed to suffer and die for wont of money to seek medical treatment? Wouldn’t that put ordinary citizens at risk from exposure and contagion? In the European Union countries

Could you ignore someone on the street with fractures or in serious pain just because you are afraid they are vying for the same tax dollars to pay for medical care?

As long as people are allowed to stay within our borders, we must maintain our “humanness” and civility for without it, we are a doomed society and reverting to animal status.

Reprinted by permission of copywriter Barbara Hales. For more discussions on health care reform, subscribe to The Medical Strategist newsletter at:

About Barbara Hales:
Barbara Hales is a copywriter for the medical and health fields. With her knowledge of medicine, Barbara understands the issues and challenges in health reform that face you. For more information or help with your healthcare marketing, contact her at (516) 647-3002 or visit her website at where you can sign up for a free newsletter – The Medical Strategist.

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