A free thinker in the Heartland...

Monday, June 26, 2006

"Helping" the Poor

Watch, as before your eyes 800,000 Hoosiers might lose health-care coverage! From the Indianapolis Star:

About 800,000 low-income Hoosiers will soon be asked to prove they are United States citizens or face losing their Medicaid health-care coverage.

The requirement, which takes effect nationwide Saturday, is an attempt to keep illegal immigrants from receiving federal and state health assistance for the poor and disabled.

Critics say it will do more to hurt poor citizens than to keep noncitizens from receiving benefits.

To continue receiving Medicaid benefits, recipients must present a passport, an original birth certificate or other documentation -- paperwork that many elderly, poor, homeless and mentally ill simply don't have or might have trouble obtaining quickly enough to avoid disruption in medical care, critics say.

"They're really not correcting a problem in doing this," because there is no proof that undocumented immigrants are illegally receiving Medicaid, said Nancy Jewell, president and chief executive officer of the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, an advocacy group.
Advocates for the poor also noted that many older black Americans were not born in hospitals and might never have received a birth certificate. In addition, disaster victims could have difficulty recovering lost paperwork. And children removed from abusive homes might not have readily available proof of citizenship.

"If you're removing children from their parents, it's hard to stop and say, 'Oh, by the way, do you have a birth certificate to help us get Medicaid for them?' " said Cathleen Graham, executive director of IARCCA, an Association of Children and Family Services. "For kids who are abandoned, it's really going to be a problem."

Our govenment loves the poor. As Stephen Colbert said, "Using Jesus' name in a speech = Small Government. Doing what Jesus taught = big government."