State lawmakers deleted money for immigrants’ health insurance as one of many cuts made to balance the budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. Governor Deval Patrick has proposed a $70 million compromise plan that would grant immigrants access to medical care in August, when their coverage ends, through a patchwork of other state programs that health advocates say is spotty and confusing, especially for those who, like Hernandez, do not speak English.
The 30,000 immigrants caught in the middle have “special status’’ in the immigration system. Many have been in the country less than five years and are seeking asylum from war-ravaged regions.
Hernandez, a 51-year-old janitor, said he arrived in the United States on a visa in 1993, a year after a 12-year civil war ended in his homeland. He applied for asylum and was denied, but was able to obtain temporary legal status in 2001 after a series of earthquakes shattered his country.
Besides, his older brothers and a sister in El Salvador needed the money he sent home.
Shouldn't he be prosecuted for sending US cash out of the country?
I'd be a bit more worried about a lifelong US citizen losing access to health care - or, for example, being forced to pay a fine or pay insane amounts of money for health care if they can't prove they have it annually on their tax return. Yet, legal (actually, illegal...with "special status", woo hoo!) immigrants are worried that their state subsidized health care is running out? Too bad. People aren't spending money and the state is scrambling for funds, so just like any business, costs have to be cut when revenues fall, particularly in the short term where budget gaps needs to be closed. Don't these people realize that it takes money to supply anyone with free, expensive services? If the well dries up, who's fault is it?
I almost want to believe that states as high-profile as Massachusetts are doing this on purpose so the Obama administration can continue to push universal health care on us. Almost...not quite there yet.
People like me, lifelong residents of New England, are considering leaving the region over issues like this. A relative of mine can't get any health coverage because she can't find a job, but also has a few grand in her savings account and that's considered too much for MassHealth, so they told her to go spend her money. So the system rewards people who hide any money they do have - or in this case, sending it back to their relatives in another country, which is engaging in illegal activity - and punishes the people who pay into the system when they shop, pay income taxes, or generally PRODUCE something in society via economic activity.
People like Ms. Sacchetti, who apparently disabled comments on this story and is all about illegal immigration, always fail to speak about the tax base and how alienated citizens feel when they have to pay for services given away to illegal immigrants for free. This country was not intended as a safe haven for anyone who lives in a country that has earthquakes (the reason Mr. Hernandez is given special status in the first place, even though he was denied special status during a time of civil war in his country). I guarantee you not one person from L'Aquila is asking the US to take them in because they are in the middle of an "earthquake ravaged region" the way Mr. Hernandez did.
Massachusetts needs to get out of the business of providing for those who don't provide anything back to the state. These are people who are likely working under the table, don't file taxes, and take their cash and send it out of the country, which is illegal. Is it any surprise that when lifelong residents go through rough economic times and start saving their money, that the government scrambles to find ways to continue pumping cash into systems that are unconstitutional and shouldn't exist in the first place? Talk about unsustainable. Time to steer the ship away from the iceberg - hopefully starting with a new governor (only wish Arth wanted to run here).