Unlike when Kamala Harris jumped on board with the elimination of private health insurance during a CNN town hall, she has not yet walked back her latest policy pander. But she really can’t since it is already the law.
She appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper on Sunday. During the interview, he asked her if the benefits of Medicare for All would extend to those residing illegally in the country. In her answer she really went above and beyond:
“Let me just be very clear about this. I am opposed to any policy that would deny in our country any human being from access to public safety, public education, or public health. Period.”
Period. So much emphasis. For no apparent reason.
No one in this country is denied healthcare in emergency rooms nationwide based on ability to pay or immigration status. This was taken care of in 1986 when Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA).
EMTALA imposes 3 distinct legal duties on hospitals. According to the statute, only facilities that participate in Medicare are included, but this encompasses almost 98% of all US hospitals. First, hospitals must perform a medical screening examination (MSE) on any person who comes to the hospital and requests care to determine whether an emergency medical condition (EMC) exists. Second, if an EMC exists, hospital staff must either stabilize that condition to the extent of their ability or transfer the patient to another hospital with the appropriate capabilities. Finally, hospitals with specialized capabilities or facilities (e.g., burn units) are required to accept transfers of patients in need of such specialized services if they have the capacity to treat them.
And yes, that means if a patient shows up with a screaming toddler with a fever at 2 AM they are seen regardless of their immigration status or insurance situation.
Further, there are over 11,000 health care delivery sites belonging to 1,373 organizations in the National Association of Community Health Centers. These clinics provide treatment for a nominal fee, often on a sliding scale down to free. They also provide a full range of medical care to include acute and routine care as well as mental health, dental and vision. Last year these clinics saw 28 million patients regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.
Hey Kamala, problem solved!
Harris may also not be aware, that no child under the age of 18 can be denied a public education in the United States. This has been the case since 1982 when the Supreme Court ruled on Plyler v Doe. School districts can not track immigration status, require Social Security numbers or require citizenship for enrollment.
Additionally, in 1974 Congress passed the Equal Educational Opportunity Act (EEOA) mandating that no state shall deny an equal educational opportunity to any individual, “by the failure by an educational agency to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by students in an instructional program.” This basically set up a regulatory environment where providing English as a second language instruction became mandatory. The U.S. is the only country I am aware of that requires this.
So, check the box Kamala. Your work here is done.
As far as public health, if there is a disease outbreak, everyone including tourists may be quarantined and/or vaccinated. Herd immunity matters. If there is a disaster, all people in the area receive care and treatment through state and federal agencies.
Give Senator Harris the ‘easy’ button! She didn’t even need to be elected!
Now, if the Senator is suggesting illegal immigrants need to be included in government-subsidized insurance programs when these services are all available, that is a problem. It is fine if California wants to pay for the care of illegal immigrants on their Medicaid program. They are the sanctuary state and can bear the costs of that decision.
Same with free tuition. New York and New Jersey have already made that bargain for illegal immigrants. In some cases putting them ahead of citizens. No reason I need to pay for their open embrace. The beauty of federalism.
Still, it is no small wonder migrants travel far and wide to cross our border illegally or attempt to make an asylum claim. An awful lot of free goodies on the other side if you can get there.