by Natalie Harp
The Democrats often claim that they alone will protect people with pre-existing conditions. Well, unfortunately for us, this popular catchphrase delivered the greatest catch in the history of politics: under Obamacare, insurance companies couldn’t deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions — but doctors could.
In fact, “thanks” to Obamacare, one out of every three doctors began cherry-picking or lemon-dropping patients — that is, selecting the most profitable patients and rejecting those who consume the most resources — on the basis of the complexity or terminality of their pre-existing conditions, including past medical mistakes, to improve professional rather than patient outcomes. Meanwhile, patients in emergency rooms have had to leave without seeing a doctor due to overcrowding.
Now, armed with a new set of talking points and fine print, the radical left is fighting to incentivize cherry-picking on the basis of yet another pre-existing condition — immigration status.
The 2020 Democrat presidential candidates aren’t just campaigning on open borders, but also “open clinics” in the form of taxpayer-funded “universal” healthcare for an estimated 12 million illegal aliens and counting — a plan so radical that even the deep-blue State of California was only willing to provide “free” healthcare to illegal immigrants between the ages of 19 and 25. The Do-Nothing Democrats in the House of Representatives even broke their sabbatical recently by voting to expedite the creation of electronic health records for illegal immigrants — while forcing active service personnel and veterans to wait up to 10 years for the same benefits.
With Democrats enabling illegal immigrants to cut in line, even in front of our own veterans, American citizens and legal immigrants with pre-existing conditions should be deeply concerned that they, too, will eventually be abandoned by their elected officials and forced to wait for the very same medical care that their taxes provide to illegal aliens.
Under the Democrats’ plan, patients would become the new victims of illegal immigration. But that will never happen while Donald Trump is President — because immigration reform is healthcare reform.
In fact, President Trump is doing exactly the opposite, instituting protections for law-abiding citizens and new immigrants with pre-existing conditions by ensuring that even legal immigrants aren’t adding to the ranks of the uninsured.
“While our healthcare system grapples with the challenges caused by uncompensated care, the United States Government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs,” President Trump explained in his Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System. “Continuing to allow entry into the United States of certain immigrants who lack health insurance or the demonstrated ability to pay for their healthcare would be detrimental to these interests.”
American Hospitals already lose an average of $7 million per year providing uncompensated care, for a combined total of over $35 billion in the past decade. As a result, hospitals — especially those in rural areas — have been forced to close their doors in record numbers. Mandating free healthcare for millions of non-citizens at an average cost of more than $10,000 per person would exacerbate the burden on America’s healthcare system while saddling taxpayers with even more unaffordable liabilities.
Fortunately, President Trump has decided to enforce existing immigration rules that prevent foreigners with no means of covering their own medical expenses from coming here and adding to the burden on our healthcare system. Legal immigrants will immediately benefit alongside our own citizens from the security of an affordable, high-quality healthcare system that protects patients with pre-existing conditions from the “higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher fees for medical services” that come with government-controlled healthcare.
By prioritizing the immigration of high-skilled workers, President Trump is working tirelessly to preempt an expected shortage of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032.
Additional immigration reforms implemented by the Trump administration will further protect patients with pre-existing conditions by cracking down on the criminal cartels that smuggle deadly narcotics such as fentanyl into our communities. Stopping these smugglers will not only save countless lives, it will also reduce the need to spend our nation’s healthcare dollars on addiction treatment.
The Democrat presidential candidates who raised their hands in support of providing “free” healthcare to illegal immigrants should have just waved goodbye while they were at it. Breaking our country’s laws is not a “pre-existing condition.”
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Natalie Harp is an entrepreneur and Advisory Board member for Donald J. Trump for President.