Thursday, May 11, 2006

Immigration and Healthcare

This was an informative first-person story. It clearly shows how burdensome healthcare for the uninsured poor is.

He ended up in Greenwich Hospital because the one in the town where he'd settled, the neighboring and much less well-to-do Port Chester, had shut down after going bankrupt. That hospital had cared for a large number of patients just like him: no insurance, no English, no papers. When a hospital serving such a demographic goes bankrupt, it leaves a needy population to seek free care elsewhere, passing on the same risk of financial distress to neighboring hospitals, like propagation of an infectious disease.

On the other hand, it also illustrates that many immigrants are the hard-working type of person that we really do want in this country.
I thought about all the American workers I'd operated on, for far less serious problems, who were quick to bring in disability paperwork after surgery, hoping I'd deem them permanently disabled, unfit for any line of work. And at that moment, the resentment I'd felt six months earlier was replaced by something quite different--admiration.

No comments: