Sunday, 12 February 2012

Utah Legislators Demonstrate Compassion, Proper Priorities

On Friday, Kristen Moulton from the Salt Lake Tribune wrote "Should kids who are legal immigrants wait for health care?" Of course, the obvious answer from both an ethical and public health perspective is "obviously not."

No one should have to wait for health care, since waiting reduces the chances of preventative care and always makes whatever incipient health problem may be present worse. While research on cost-effectiveness of preventative care indicates that it only saves money in some situations (research on that from the New England Journal of Medicine can be found  here  ), at least basic health treatment in case of illness - let alone for children - is a basic human right, and should be considered part of any sane conception of a social safety net.

From the Trib:

On their tenth attempt, Vitalina and Harold Lazarus finally won the immigration lottery to come to the United States from Ukraine. 
They and their three children landed in Salt Lake City in March, and set about building the life they'd dreamed about for a decade. 
Harold Lazarus got two jobs as a certified nursing assistant, and his wife took English classes so she can eventually put her economics degree to use. 
The family gets by but would be in a world of hurt if the parents or children were to get sick.

Photo by Chris Detrick, SL Tribune
An astonishing number of Americans - immigrants and "natural born" alike - are one medical disaster away from bankruptcy (the statistics on medical bankruptcy in America are jaw-dropping) or worse.

Back to the Tribune:

The Lazaruses, say advocates, are exactly the kind of immigrant family for whom the Utah Legislature should string a safety net. 
Yet for the third legislative session in a row, a bill that would allow legal immigrant children to qualify for Medicaid and Utah's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage without waiting five years appears likely to die without a hearing.

Yes, truly our legislators are in it for the children.

Sen. Luz Robles, D - Salt Lake City, has proposed [expanding coverage] every year since 2009 and the bill has never moved out of the Senate Rules Committee to be heard in another committee.
Luz Robles

I know Luz Robles a little from work I've done with Salt Lake City's West Side. She is a good egg - one of the very, very few in the Utah Legislature.

I want to make this clear. Our Legislature in this state can't be bothered to even consider or debate a bill that would expand health coverage to legal immigrant children - as good and noble a bill as you could ask for - but they are more than willing to spend their time proposing arcane lawsuits based on Utah's statehood (or absence thereof?), debating "personhood" (read: generating an abortion debate for no reason other than to send a "message"), placing additional restrictions on the rights of adult citizens to get divorced...the parade of clowns and morons that invade Salt Lake City to make horrible, idiotic laws has a very busy schedule indeed.

Too busy to take care of basic health care for immigrants, apparently - glad that they have their priorities straight, the heartless, moronic bastards.

1 comment:

  1. Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply great and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

    health ecology