Millions of unauthorized immigrant adults — who represent more than 80% of immigrants living in the United States illegally — contribute to public health programs they may never benefit from because of their legal status. In a recent story that highlighted the lack of health care coverage for undocumented older people, Marc Ramirez, a national correspondent for USA TODAY, interviewed a man from Mexico, in part because the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants are from Latin America. Continue reading
It’s not a good idea to try to do anything else while listening to Joanne Faryon’s podcast about “Sixty-Six Garage,” a man who went unidentified in a San Diego “vent farm,” aka skilled nursing facility, for 15 years. Her gripping oral recount of how she quit her job in 2015 and spent her own money and resources to find out who he was and how he ended up this way, attached to ventilators and unable to speak or move, is chilling.
The story of “Garage” represents also another angle on the story of immigration, and how the vehicle accident just north of the California/Mexico border resulted, possibly, because he was being chased by a border agent’s helicopter. Continue reading
The thousands of children separated from their undocumented parents at the border have been exposed to prolonged stress that can cause long-lasting injury to the developing brain, say many prominent professional medical associations. The policy of taking children from their parents while they await deportation hearings – reversed on Wednesday – may have increased their chances of getting infectious diseases, too.
Dr. Marc Siegel wrote in USA Today that “thousands of children now being housed in makeshift detention centers have been reported to suffer from large outbreaks of scabies, a highly contagious, itchy rash spread by tiny insects known as mites.” There also have been reports of outbreaks of lice, measles, flu, drug-resistant tuberculosis, dengue fever and Zika, Siegel added. Continue reading
Health IT is getting tangled up in several of President Trump’s executive orders, and with more expected to touch the industry, tech companies and health IT divisions of health care providers will likely face continued uncertainty over staffing and regulations.
The immigration ban
Here’s a story worth looking at in the states, particularly in the midst of a pretty heated campaign season: health care for those living in the United States without legal permission.
The Affordable Care Act, as you may remember, did not cover people living in the country illegally (though some conservatives insist otherwise). In fact, they can’t even buy a plan in the ACA exchanges with their own money – with no subsidy. (They can purchase insurance outside the ACA with their own money, and some who are employed do get covered through jobs, although there is some disagreement over how many.) Continue reading