Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Health Insurance Liability of San Francisco's Illegal Alien Invaders

I attended the Commonwealth Club's "Undocumented and Uninsured" talk last night.  The entire evening was a one-sided advocacy of health care policy solutions favoring illegal aliens.  Every one of the experts on stage owed their livelihoods to government handouts.  I expected a serious debate about the impact of illegal immigration on the cost of health care.  I should have known better; after all, this is San Francisco.

The San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium serves as many illegal aliens as it can handle thanks to subsidies from the federal government.  Illegals can also apply to Medi-Cal and Covered California for health insurance, and since they often hold off-the-books jobs their artificially low incomes qualify them for plans that higher earners subsidize with inflated premiums.  Well, that's just great, isn't it?  Actually, it's not great, but I needed to throw the sarcasm out there.  They can also get free treatment through Healthy San Francisco, funded by a surcharge on restaurant meals.  It's ironic how lots of these illegals work under the table (pun intended) in restaurants and go without employer-based coverage, yet restaurant surcharges enable them to get free health care.

Employers have very powerful incentives to keep illegals off their books and out of employer-sponsored ACA-compliant health insurance plans.  Businesses avoid a $3000 penalty per employee for ACA noncompliance if they hire illegals who are not required to enroll in an ACA plan.  In turn, ACA funds handed to community health clinics like SFCCC pay for illegal aliens' health care.  This loophole is a dream for pro-lawbreaking DREAMers, because they stick it to law-abiding Americans several times over.  Illegals earn unreported income, get free health care, and overload a health care system that cannot anticipate their needs because it can't legally account for their existence.  Law-breaking aliens become a financial tapeworm sucking funds from the health care sector while remaining hidden from financial and actuarial discovery.

Leading sources of health care reporting are not helping clarify this bad situation.  Reading the California Health Report, the California Healthcare Foundation's Center for Health Reporting, and the Health Dialogues of the California Report results in perpetual obfuscation.  Their breathless headlines report endless policy tweaks and suggestions for additional subsidies, with the overarching goal of helping plan participants game the system any way possible.  The progressive mindset has thoroughly infected the California health care sector now that ACA has made it an oligopoly for providers and an entitlement for an illegal constituency.  The California Endowment's Reporting on Health project might help clear the air if it sticks to data analysis.

San Francisco's reputation as one of the most progressive cities in the state is not doing much to help the illegals who end up in Medi-Cal or Healthy San Francisco.  The state's Office of the Patient Advocate has report cards that tell the tale.  The Medi-Cal managed care report card for San Francisco says it all, with most of the health care options scoring average or lower compared to the rest of the state.  Way to go, San Francisco.  Being a "sanctuary city" promising safe haven for illegals facing deportation sure doesn't do them many health care favors.

The one panelist at the Commonwealth Club who self-identified as a DREAMer never expressed any remorse that he had lied to various legal authorities his entire young life to obtain benefits that are reserved for citizens.  His sense of entitlement to break the law was breathtaking to behold.  I thought about contacting US Immigration and Customs Enforcement but I now realize that would be an exercise in futility.  The Immigration Accountability Executive Actions announced last week now prevent ICE from capturing lawbreakers like that DREAMer panelist.  He is now free to pursue his medical degree in the place of a law-abiding citizen whose academic enrollment he stole.

I will not maintain the polite fiction that an invading horde of squatters constitutes an aspirational class of future immigrants.  Advocates for illegal aliens' health care policies have no clue how the economy works.  They do have a very good understanding of how electoral maps work.  More illegal invaders crossing an unsecured border mean more votes (not checked with identification cards, of course) for politicians who promise these free handouts.  San Francisco's public policy elite continues to plan more giveaways to alien invaders, with no thought to the law-abiding US citizens they impoverish.