Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Calling a Halt to the Hemorrhaging

Only illegal aliens and "medical care tourists" are entitled to "free" medical care in the U.S. The rest of us have to pay -- and pay for the lawbreakers, too.

When my employer applied for an employment pass for me to work in Indonesia, the company had to guarantee 100% payment for any medical treatment, including air ambulance Medevac service. Ditto when I worked in Singapore. And Hong Kong.

We could readily do the same thing here. Require foreigners provide proof of medical insurance to get a visa. Require employers provide medical coverage for people they bring in on H-1b, L-1, and the assorted other temporary work permits.

U.S. citizens traveling abroad must either produce proof of health insurance to obtain a visa or work permit while in a foreign country, or must request help from our consulates to transfer funds or make payment arrangements for emergency medical care. We should expect no less of any visitor to our country.

Congress should pass a bill which requires foreigners' fiscal responsibility for medical care.

1. Any foreign tourist must provide proof of medical insurance coverage for any medical emergency while in the U.S., including medevac/air ambulance service back to their homeland if needed. Any work permit applicant or their sponsoring company (e.g. H1-B, L1, etc.) must provide proof of 100% medical care coverage, including repatriation via medevac or air ambulance, for the duration of their stay.

2. Any non-citizen who claims inability to pay for emergency medical care must contact their consulate (or the hospital or a relative may do so on the patient's behalf), and request payment assistance and repatriation. Require consulates to transfer funds or make payment on the patient's behalf, and repatriate the patient, by medevac or air ambulance if necessary, for any further medical care. Consulates can either transfer funds from the patient or relatives, or pay on the patient's behalf and then obtain reimbursement in accordance with their own country's laws.

3. Only U.S. citizens being repatriated with U.S. consulate authorization in a medical emergency will be authorized to enter the U.S. (for example, ambulances crossing from Mexico or Canada). Any non-citizen must provide proof of insurance coverage or ability to pay if they are entering the U.S. for medical treatment, as well as obtain emergency authorization/visa from U.S. consular officials.

4. Non-citizens who refuse to pay for medical care or obtain consular assistance will be handed over to Immigration & Customs Enforcement for immediate deportation as immigration law violators or under "public charge" laws.

5. All applicants for immigration or employment visas must be free of any communicable or chronic debilitative disease, including active or latent TB, Chagas, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, etc. They must provide proof of vaccination against polio, measles, diphtheria, and the host of contagious diseases we've pretty much eliminated.

Eliminating uncompensated care for non-citizens would do more to slash the high costs of medical insurance and medical care than any other step we could take. It would also help prevent the bankruptcies so many medical facilities face, which compromises care available in many communities across the U.S. And demanding stricter health standards of immigrants is critical to protecting public health.

If we do not call a halt to the hemorrhaging, our medical care system will bleed out.


Blogger Di said...

If my health insurance were $100 a month cheaper, I would have a prayer of being able to afford it. I'm sick of lawbreakers getting "freebies" out of MY pocket and being unable to afford the same for my family.

The idea of requiring their consuls to transfer back the money they sent home is GREAT! They have to be responsible for their own bills.

10:35 AM  
Blogger The Immigrant said...

I definitely don't have all the answers ibu guru, but I know that as long as people keep sharing ideas like this, the truth will eventually reveal itself and hopefully make the world a better place to live in. I've been looking for investor immigration to canada info and news - yeah I know I should probably get a life, but there's just something about investor immigration to canada that gets me thinking of better times.

Your post about Calling a Halt to the Hemorrhaging was a good read compared to a lot of the other stuff that's out there! Keep up the good work, I will definitely swing by again soon.

2:38 PM  
Blogger The Immigrant said...

I definitely don't have all the answers, but I know that as long as people keep sharing ideas like this, the truth will eventually reveal itself and maybe it can make a difference somewhere.

I think this blog rocks! Keep up the good work, I've bookmarked it and will definitely swing by again soon.

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11:39 AM  
Blogger Nick Roberts said...

Great blog! You've got a real knack for writing ibu guru, keep on rockin! I will definitely be checking in here again soon.

Your post about Calling a Halt to the Hemorrhaging sure got my attention - I'll spread the word about it to my friends. Sure you won't mind a few more eyeballs on your work from the four corners of the earth? :-) Thanks for a great read!

1:45 AM  
Blogger Nick Roberts said...

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If you know of any other blogs or websites that I could check out to get some more info on canadian immigration, I'd be very grateful. I really enjoyed your blog - thanks for the great read.

12:49 PM  

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