Aside from being equally untenable with the American public, granting amnesty to illegal aliens would do nothing to reduce the cost burden for their healthcare. Because of education levels and limited jobs skills among the illegal population, the majority would not see their incomes rise appreciably and would therefore qualify for large taxpayer subsidies under the reform bills before Congress.
Coming at a time of high unemployment and soaring government deficits, the debate about whether to provide these healthcare benefits serves to illustrate the enormous costs of our failed immigration policies. Immigration, legal and illegal, has been a driving force behind the growth of the medically uninsured population in the United States. Until we bring our immigration policies in line with economic and fiscal realities, we will continue to face Hobson's choices on this and many other key issues.
Four out of five Americans are opposed to including illegal aliens under a national healthcare system not because they lack compassion but because they understand we cannot maintain a system that invites millions to use services that must be financed by taxpayers or through increased government borrowing. If our national goal is to provide a high standard of care without breaking the bank, then we must limit access to citizens and long-term legal residents and enforce laws against illegal immigration.
Read why coverage for the undocumented is best in the long run, by Eric Rodriguez of the National Council of La Raza.