PHILADELPHIA REFLECTIONS
Musings of a Philadelphia Physician who has served the community for six decades

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Immigration and Universal Health Insurance

Among the many articles about the economic wonder of Dubai,

http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/images/missing_img.gif
Immigrants

along the Persian Gulf, is the comment that only 20% of Dubai's residents are citizens of that country. The other 80% seem to be immigrant workers, flocking there to make $2 an hour because at home they can only make $1. America only has 12 million illegal immigrants at the moment, but comparing our problems with such extreme cases sharpens the discussion.

No matter what position you take on the question of universal American health care, or universal anything else for that matter, you eventually have to re-examine your beliefs about our national borders. It is plainly absurd to propose that America should provide health care for the whole world, but if we allow essentially unlimited immigration it comes close to the same thing if you provide health care for everyone who is here.

The reason Dubai is a useful example is that we, too, are working our way into the fix of basing our prosperity on immigration we cannot handle. In recently seeking bids for a new roof, the choices I received were from Costa Ricans, Poles, and Puerto Ricans. True, one American citizen did inquire, but he was merely a contractor for some others, who were almost surely illegal migrant workers. Following the advice of a friend, I chose the Costa Ricans because they were rather small in size; my friend said they were less likely to get hurt falling off the roof. Although the situation in Dubai is more advanced, we seem to share the same difficulty that our economy would become pretty unworkable without the immigrant labor. That problem for us does introduce an element of fairness into providing health care for people we really do depend on; or you could adopt the line that issues of practicality urge us to find a solution. Either way, you confront a dilemma, a problem offering two solutions or possibilities, of which neither is acceptable. Perhaps at least we could invent a new term, a multilemma, defined as a problem with lots of solutions, none of which would work.

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Immigration is no more an issue now, with proper guidance and judgement, we can move forward easily without any hassles.
Posted by: Costa Rica Volcano Tours   |   Apr 7, 2011 4:46 PM

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