Healthcare Digest 5/30: A Wily Truth About Immigration and Healthcare

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Here’s something uncomfortable to think about: “Immigrants have contributed billions of dollars more to Medicare in recent years than the program has paid out on their behalf.” That’s from a piece running in the New York Times.

Why’s it uncomfortable? Well, a couple reasons:

1) It contradicts anti-immigration talking points about how immigrants — documented or undocumented — are a drain on our resources.

2) It means that those healthcare dollars we’re spending aren’t only our healthcare dollars.

It gets more embarrassing: “Immigrants generated surpluses totaling $115 billion from 2002 to 2009. In comparison, the American-born population incurred a deficit of $28 billion over the same period.”

Like ecosystems in the natural world, there’s an ecosystem in American healthcare. Stemming the flow of immigration could have unintended consequences in unexpected places.

Thursday’s Headlines:

You May Not Get to Keep Your Current Healthcare Policy: “Many people who buy their own health insurance could get surprises in the mail this fall: cancellation notices because their current policies aren’t up to the basic standards of President Barack Obama’s health care law.” [Biz Smart]

The “Us v. Them” Mentality of Healthcare: “I wonder how many of those polled really know what health care reform, as passed by Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, means. I say that without cynicism because, working in public policy and health care, I spend an enormous amount of time staying current on the law, and the multiple complexities of its ongoing implementation.” [Huffington Post]

Yeah, What IS Concierge Healthcare?: “With healthcare institutions throughout the world increasingly stressed, the wealthy are regularly not inclined to rely on these public systems – at least not in the ways the masses rely on them. Instead, the wealthy are more and more able and likely to pay for a higher if not always exceptional standard of care. The term for this is concierge healthcare.” Also known as: gross. [Forbes.com]

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Posted in Medical Receivables, Patient Experience, Patient Financial Services .

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