NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

THE IMPACT OF MASS IMMIGRATION ON THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

December 22, 2005

Our nation's health-insurance crisis is largely driven by its immigration policy. The data show that the first half of this decade has been the highest five-year period of immigration in U.S. history, thanks to looser immigration policy.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies:

  • Fully one-third of immigrants lack health insurance -- 2 1/2 times the rate for native-born Americans.
  • Immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for almost three-fourths (9 million) of the increase in the uninsured population since 1989.

Illegal immigrants also account for a large share of the total uninsured population:

  • CIS estimates that 14 percent of all uninsured Americans are illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico.
  • Unlike their parents, U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants can enroll in Medicaid, and their federal coverage is helping drive up overall health care costs.

CIS say it's no coincidence that some of the states with the highest health care costs border Mexico. Roughly half of immigrants and their children in California are uninsured or on Medicaid; in Texas and Arizona it's more than 60 percent.

The impact of mass immigration on the health care system in these states is clearly enormous. Medicaid is a particular concern because half to two-thirds of the program's costs are borne by state taxpayers.

But mass immigration is also taxing the entire medical system, says CIS.

Source: Editorial, "The Rx Dems Ignore," Investor's Business Daily, December 22, 2005; and Steven A. Camarota, "Immigrants at Mid-Decade: A Snapshot of America's Foreign-Born Population in 2005," Center for Immigration Studies, December 2005.

For CIS study:

http://www.cis.org/articles/2005/back1405release.html

 

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