California will soon pay the health care bills for low-income people 50 and older who are living in the country illegally as part of an expansion of Medicaid.

Still- how is this going to work?

Are you proposing that we have the hospital staff act as immigration officers? Deport all homeless Americans because they also can’t show documentation? Anyone with no family to bring their identification in? Force people to wait at the hospital until they can figure out a way to show identification? Make sure they can provide a ssn and then wait until the hospital can somehow verify that the ssn belongs to them? Make people register at all hospitals with their name, photo id, and citizenship verification prior to ever needing an ER visit?

None of this would really work- you can easily lie about your name, address, ssn, etc.. Hospitals cannot keep you against your will because it would be false imprisonment. Then, if you figured out a way to make it work, any option is going to slow down the emergency room process (potentially costing both American and non-citizen lives) and ultimately add even more to the cost of healthcare because it would require extra staff, processes, and training for the hospitals.

The increase in the price of healthcare would cost American citizens even more in the long run. And it would rise incrementally because when those costs get passed on, it is across the board and not just ER visits. People who now can’t afford preventative or early treatment that could have kept ER visits and big health conditions from ever happening would end up in worse shape and needing more extensive treatment when the problem gets big enough.

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