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Tom Murse

The Millions Who Won't Be Covered by Obamacare

By July 3, 2012

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The health care reform law signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last week will help enroll an estimated 30 million low-income and now-uninsured Americans in an affordable insurance program.

But even when it takes effect, there will still be millions of uninsured people here. Who are they?

Undocumented immigrants, mostly.

As the Congressional Research Service points out, "Unauthorized (illegal) immigrants are expressly exempted from the mandate to have health insurance and, as a result, cannot be penalized for noncompliance."

The Affordable Care Act bans those living in the United States illegally from receiving taxpayer subsidies or tax credits to purchase health insurance through the exchanges being set up by states. Undocumented immigrants, therefore, are expected to make up the largest segment of some 26 million people who will remain uninsured, and therefore left to seek treatment in emergency rooms.

The Pew Hispanic Center has said there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country. Many do not have insurance.

"Undocumented immigrants accounted for one in seven of the uninsured in 2007, up from one in eight in 1999. Since undocumented immigrants will not be eligible for public insurance or private coverage obtained through exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, they will eventually constitute a larger percentage of the uninsured population," wrote Urban Institute researchers Stephen Zuckerman, Timothy Waidmann and Emily Lawton.

So while the president and his party proclaim victory over the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the issue of how best to handle the health care needs of the growing ranks of illegal immigrants remains unresolved.

Read more about how the Affordable Care Act handles illegal immigrants.


Comments

July 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm
(1) Realtime53 says:

Hi Tom –

“The Pew Hispanic Center has said there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country. Many do not have insurance.”

Yes. About 6 million illegal immigrants have health care insurance through their employers.

“The Affordable Care Act bans those living in the United States illegally from receiving taxpayer subsidies or tax credits to purchase health insurance through the exchanges being set up by states. Undocumented immigrants, therefore, are expected to make up the largest segment of some 26 million people who will remain uninsured, and therefore left to seek treatment in emergency rooms.”

The very poor will not be able to get health insurance. Nor will they be paying the fine, tax, or fee. ACA is the rare public assistance program that you become eligible for as you make more money.

Half the foreclosures and half the bankruptcies in the country are due to medical bills. ACA will help with that. In many ways, ACA is an aid to the middle class.

July 5, 2012 at 11:23 am
(2) ano nymous says:

Obamacare can’t be repealed because one in seven Blacks, one in ten Hispanics and one in twelve Italians (thanks Fumento) have HIV/AIDS and can’t afford healthcare.

July 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm
(3) Alec Scott says:

I can see why anonymous is anonymous.

August 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm
(4) Me says:

Are you serious? Am I missing something? Is this seriously supposed to be a bad thing?

They are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS….HELLO??? They SHOULDN’T have healthcare or anything else for that matter…they are I*L*L*E*G*A*L…DUH!! Become LEGAL like the rest of us! Wow!!

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