White Heat for White Health

August 26, 2009 by Rev. David L. Ostendorf · 1 Comment
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

This week the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) announced its tired, annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” lobby days in mid-September, replete with its usual cast of right wing radio ringers spewing vitriol about immigrants. This year, of course, the Great White Fear is that “illegal aliens” (and people of color) will get access to “tax-payer funded” benefits under an Obama health plan; Dan Stein and company must have breathed a collective sigh of relief that the health care debate hung on through the August recess so the FAIR Fire Holders had something to rant about when they trot across the Beltway in a few weeks.

Health care for low-wage workers in the U.S.—immigrants and others—is out of reach, but for the emergency room when absolutely necessary. More to the point, few low-wage workers can afford to take time off from their jobs to see a health care provider, or risk treatment for an on-the-job injury that could get them fired or laid off without pay. Even a trip to the emergency room is risky in the countless settings where translators are available only by phone. Cases of injured or sick workers being terminated are legion. That these workers would suddenly take undue advantage of a reformed health care system that might actually include them is ludicrous, to say the least. Read more