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The Republicans vs. Ronald Wilson Reagan.

If the Republicans absolutely hate the idea of illegal immigrants receiving medical treatment than they only have their hero, Ronald Wilson Reagan, to thank.  It was President Ronald W. Reagan who signed the COBRA legislation in 1986 that included the emergency room treatment provision:

Illegal immigrants are already eligible for emergency care through the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, signed by President Reagan in 1986. This emergency care is often paid for by Emergency Medicaid, private insurance if the patients have it, out-of-pocket, or it's written off as bad debt or charity care by the hospital.

This is how the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act is described:

Any patient who "comes to the emergency department" requesting "examination or treatment for a medical condition" must be provided with "an appropriate medical screening examination" to determine if he is suffering from an "emergency medical condition". If he is, then the hospital is obligated to either provide him with treatment until he is stable or to transfer him to another hospital in conformance with the statute's directives.

Of course Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) is so outraged by the idea of illegal immigrants receiving medical treatment that he called President Obama a liar.  But the fact is that South Carolina is already treating illegal immigrants at a hefty price:

Uninsured illegal immigrants often turn to emergency rooms for care. In 2006, S.C. hospitals treated 27,000 uninsured, non-citizens. Those visits resulted in $117 million in total charges, including $59 million in emergency room charges, according to the Hospital Association (the S.C. Hospital Association).

So not only was Joe Wilson wrong about the facts behind his outrage, he was also actually venting his rage against the great Ronald Reagan.  

Originally posted to Jack Dublin on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 06:14 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement." President Barack Obama

    by Jack Dublin on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 06:14:34 AM PDT

  •  Then perhaps we should provide Emerg (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    coverage ONLY for non-insured folks, cause that's where they go most of the time.  Most don't even have a regular doctor of their own -- so send them to ER.

    Coonsey's World

    by cscmm on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 06:18:16 AM PDT

  •  Really, this is what it's all about. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, Orinoco, Gracian

    Everyone knows that if you show up at a hospital either bleeding to death or in the middle of giving birth you'll get emergency treatment.  

    Treatment obvs is not health care, but this is what they are screeching about.

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    by lastman on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 06:20:35 AM PDT

    •  Well if you don;t look like a legal (8+ / 0-)

      resident (read Hispanic) then the receptionist at the ER should have to ask to see proof you are here legally and if you are not, then you should be sent out of the hospital. Duh.

      Logically that's what they are promoting but they would never admit to it, at least most of them wouldn't.

      All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.- Bokonon

      by ryan81 on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 06:31:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And if you are unconscious & Hispanic... (7+ / 0-)

        they should just throw you out on the street without medical treatment just to be safe, since most Hispanics are illegals anyway.

        "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement." President Barack Obama

        by Jack Dublin on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 06:33:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Glad somebody else noticed. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, lastman, Gracian

        The wingnuts have been forced to admit that the section banning subsidies for illegals does in fact exist. Their complaint is that the bill does not require medical professionals to ask for proof of legal status. What does the ban mean if you can't card suspected illegals? It sounds so reasonable until you realize ...

        ... ummm ... medical professionals just provide the care. They do not decide who gets insurance.

        Their clerical staff do perform wallet biopsies. But as already noted, people in dire straights are not turned away. Many doctors won't turn away people in not-so-dire straits. See Hippocratic Oath for explanation.

        There are only 2 possible reasons for doctors to card patients: to kick them out into the street if undocumented or to discourage them from seeking care in the first place due to fear of being deported.

        There was a huge outcry when the Alabama Legislature tried to pass this kind of law. Some doctors said outright they would break the law rather than violate their oath.

        It's depressing to think that some things were still sacred, even in redredred Alabama, just a few years ago ... but now nothing is.

        _Karl Rove is an outside agitator._

        by susanala on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 07:11:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, their complaint is that it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          doesn't require insurance professionals to card people.

          They wanted to require that a specific verification mechanism be used to confirm eligibility for insurance subsidy payments (and possibly also for buying policies through the "exchange":  the stories are vague,  and I haven't been able to find the text of the rejected amendments).

          The bill leaves the choice of screening up to the bureaucrats,  and the Republicans claim that they'll blow off the checking and let illegals get government goodies.

          •  The Republicans on my tee-vee box (0+ / 0-)

            are ranting that "doctors and hospitals" are not required to check immigration status. I have seen this "doctors and hospitals" meme in at least a half a dozen off-topic posts since Wednesday at my favorite hobby web site.

            I work at a top-20 NIH funded research institution. We don't get many BeKKKers on the faculty and professional staff. But the support staff are a different story. Their water coller talk is that "we," XYZ University, should be carding suspected illegals.

            The Republicans in Congress may not have referenced health care professionals in their amendment. But that is exactly what their base is referencing.  And I don't see leaders from either party jumping in to correct them or explain why it's wrong.

            _Karl Rove is an outside agitator._

            by susanala on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 09:44:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I live in Boston (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, lastman

        Here they would have to do that to anyone with an Irish accent too.  

        Text "Justice" or "Justicia" to 69866 to get action alerts on federal immigration legislation and campaigns

        by Dexter on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 07:25:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I actually got a "Christian" to admit to this. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, Russgirl, lastman

        My coworker and I got into this at work. He is one of those born-again fundamentalist Christians, "pro-life" as long as you are an embryo. He tried to dodge my question which was should an illegal immigrant in dire need of medical care be turned away from an emergency room? He kept going off on a tangent and I kept repeating my question. Yes or no? And he finally said "no." I responded "how pro-life of you" and walked away.

      •  You are correct - My sister's doctor told her... (0+ / 0-)

        If you have a heart attack while you are in the emergency room of a hospital - you will get the pacemaker you need to survive.

        If you have a heart attack while at home - you are on your own.  His advice?  Divorce her husband of 25 years - then she will be covered under Medicare and be able to live!

        She has only 25% of her heart muscle left but can't get it fixed due to $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

        - Hey, WHAT ARE OUR TAXES for?

        Sicko policies = sick people.

        Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower's speechwriter, 1953.

        •  Not sure (0+ / 0-)

          Do you mean the advice was to divorce in order to quality for Medicaid -- the govt insurance program covering really poor people (US citizens)?

          Medicare is automatic for all citizens age 65.

          Anyway, sounds like good advice from the doc. If the law is phony, why not give a phony answer to the law? In this case, the law will not give her insurance coverage while she is married, but will if she is not married.

          O.K., time for her to live in sin. Millions of people do it, including huge numbers of widows and widowers who would have their Social Security survivor's benefits reduced if they remarried, so they just shack up.

          God will forgive your sister for living with her partner of a lifetime even after they have divorced to satisfy the phony paperwork requirements of life in this crazy world.

  •  That's because (5+ / 0-)

    back then, unlike today's extreme right-wingers, even the most devout conservatives had a conscience.  No healthcare provider working on the frontlines of emergency care should ever have to turn their backs on a suffering individual, for any reason.  It's goes against every principle a healtcare provider has been taught. It's inhumane. It's not what this nation is about.

    •  Reagan and Kennedy worked together! The horror! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, Liberal 2 the Core

      "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement." President Barack Obama

      by Jack Dublin on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 06:34:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Devout Right-to-Lifers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody, Orinoco

      At that time the various legal arms of the National Right to Life Committee were involved in lawsuits demanding in utero treatment of a compromised fetus even if the carrier woman refused treatment.  Not treating an emergent condition in the already-born would have exposed the hypocrisy of the lifers.  

      The anti-abortion faction, along with the National Rifle Association were a major source of support for Reagan.  Their role was to trash his opponents while he remained above it all.

      The cases where surgery was forced on a pregnant woman all ended badly so that strategy for establishing fetal personhood was abandoned at that time.

      Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

      by arlene on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 06:55:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do homework on past legislation?... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, Orinoco, Jack Dublin

    now we know why republicans were so upset at President Obama's speech to school children.  Do homework? apparently republicans don't believe in doing their homework before spouting lies. And they're too stupid to realize it will catch up to them.  

  •  it's irrelevant because (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, deMemedeMedia, Jack Dublin

    medical ethics require that people receive treatment regardless of their legal status. Emergency care cannot be denied.

  •  my girlfriend is fairly... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, Orinoco, Gracian

    ... neutral on health care reform. I say "neutral" because she doesn't like many of the proposals being floated around for one reason or another, although she does agree that our current system is pretty barbaric and wrong.

    That said, even she said that it would make more sense for illegals to be covered. It would be cheaper than what we got now, because they would still be going to the ER and we would still be paying for that. So instead of the government or whoever paying $70 for a doctor's visit they will pay $700+ for an ER visit.

    It will get paid by hook or by crook.

    The fact that they aren't going to be covered by this bill (and I do not fault Obama for not putting it in, its just realpolitik) is just proof of how far to the right this country has swung the past few decades.

    •  Public health (0+ / 0-)

      For treatment of contagious diseases, we should all want illegals to be covered.

      Do we want the kitchen worker at our favorite sandwich shop to have untreated TB because he can't afford to visit a doctor for his chest pains? Do we want illegals to get their flu shots? Do we want our kids going to school with kids whose families don't get medical care until they are deep into or even past the most contagious stage of their infections? Do we want our teenagers having sex with illegal immigrant teenagers who may have untreated STDs?

      The reichtwingers are so full of hate that they can't even se what is best for us all.

  •  I wish the MSM would do their job and report this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Well technically it's Obama also (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, BigAlinWashSt

    that's more conservative than Reagan, by repeatedly asserting that they won't receive care under his bill.

    •  not really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      he's just saying they won't qualify for insurance coverage under this plan. The laws and moral obligations to treat any injured or sick person still apply, and no provision has been added to make health care workers an arm of the Dept of Homeland Security. In other words, for now status quo applies to illegal immigrants. But if you can get the bulk of uninsured Americans onto a more rational system, what's left will seem much less onerous in terms of cost and management difficulty.

      Oops! I'm gonna need a whole new sig!

      by sillia on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 07:42:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But I'm sure it would not have made a bit of difference to Joe Wilson. He wasn't venting rage at some obscure technicality in a piece of legislation, so trying to redirect his supposed anger at its true target is fruitless.

    He is angry because his bankrupt ideology has been found wanting by the majority of the American people. He is angry because his President is colored and he can't change that.

    I think we all know the word he really wanted to yell at Obama.

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government is incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 07:05:40 AM PDT

  •  I remember G. W. Bush saying that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    uninsured people did have health coverage -- they could go to the emergency room.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

    by hestal on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 07:09:02 AM PDT

  •  I hate to write this but (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    The problem the President is having with healthcare is do to the fact that this country still have too many old white people who don't give a damn about other races.  This is not racial.  Check the facts.

    The President has to spend more time convincing them that they won't be effected by reform which is pathetic!

    •  Hateful slur (0+ / 0-)

      You posted this same comment twice in one thread. Both times without any links.

      I don't know why you hate your grandmother, or why you hate me. But as an old white person, I resent your hateful generalization.

      I have troll-rated you for language offensive to a group. Next time blame the ni@@ers for the nation's failure to have health insurance reform instead.

      And you are surely wrong based on the facts. The most powerful opposition to health insurance reform comes from the rich and powerful corporate interests that thrive under the current system. Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, doctor-owned laboratories and clinics.

      They are the ones spending millions on the bribes called campaign contributions, millions on lobbying, and millions in advertising making false attacks that are backed up by the reichtwing media.

      Many old white people may be scared of change, but I think that few of them express the level of hatred that you do yourself.

  •  Sometimes (0+ / 0-)

    I think the Republicans won't be happy until they see the carcasses of Hispanics rotting by the Emergency Room Door.

    What happens if I take my child to the Emergency room and in my panic, forget my ID?  Is it like Cake or Death?  Do I have to accept 'or Death'?

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