More than ten thousand illegal immigrants cross the boarder from Mexico into the United States of America each day. Studies show thirty-three percent are caught and sooner or later, usually sooner, they try again (Cosman). According to this statistic, illegal immigrants form a large and disputed group, which brings about one major ethical question. Does society have a moral obligation to provide health care? Those who say “no,” often point out that they are here illegally; therefore, have no right to benefits in this country. Those who say “yes,” point out that people have a basic human right to help those who are sick or in need of medical help. In this essay, the reader will be provided facts to help one better understand illegal immigration and immigrants need for health care. Many illegal immigrants harbor contagious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, polio, and quite a few others (Cosman). Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1985 (EMTALA) hospitals are obligated to treat the uninsured. The EMTALA is an unfunded federal mandate, meaning they do not provide adequate reimbursement of services. Also the government imposes stiff fines on any doctor or hospital that denies treatment to anyone. In other words, the EMTALA allows illegal immigrants free medical services if they first claim an emergency need of care (Cosman). For many illegal immigrants, the fear of deportation outweighs the pain of illness or injury, so they live with their afflictions rather than seeking help until their health problems become critical. That makes matters worse — for them, for hospitals that eventually treat them, and for taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill. The federal government has control over immigration law for the United States. The money that state and local governments must provide to anchor babies- babies born in the United States by illegal immigrants- amounts to a virtual tax on United States citizens to...
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