Some of the most controversial recent articles published on Boston.com have had comments shut down where normally, comments from users would soar and draw attention to an article or site. This includes a recent story about a(n) (il)legal immigrant apparently about to lose access to his health care:
State lawmakers deleted money for immigrantsâ€™ health insurance as one of many cuts made to balance the budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. Governor Deval Patrick has proposed a $70 million compromise plan that would grant immigrants access to medical care in August, when their coverage ends, through a patchwork of other state programs that health advocates say is spotty and confusing, especially for those who, like Hernandez, do not speak English.
The 30,000 immigrants caught in the middle have â€œspecial statusâ€™â€™ in the immigration system. Many have been in the country less than five years and are seeking asylum from war-ravaged regions.
Hernandez, a 51-year-old janitor, said he arrived in the United States on a visa in 1993, a year after a 12-year civil war ended in his homeland. He applied for asylum and was denied, but was able to obtain temporary legal status in 2001 after a series of earthquakes shattered his country.
Besides, his older brothers and a sister in El Salvador needed the money he sent home.
I’d be a bit more worried about a lifelong US citizen losing access to health care. Yet, illegal immigrants are worried that their state subsidized health care gravy train may be letting them off at the next stop? People aren’t spending money and the state is scrambling for funds, so just like any business, costs have to be cut when revenues fall, particularly in the short term where budget gaps needs to be closed. Don’t these people realize that it takes money to supply anyone with free, expensive services? If the well dries up, who’s fault is it?
Many people are considering leaving the region over issues like this. One story that comes to mind is that a relative of mine has a few grand in savings but no job, so no state subsidized health benefits until all her savings are gone. So people who hide cash or send it overseas to bring family members here are rewarded, or so it seems.
“Journalists” like Ms. Sacchetti, who apparently disabled comments on this story and is all about illegal immigration, always fail to speak about the tax base and how alienated citizens feel when they have to pay for services given away to illegal immigrants for free. This country was not intended as a safe haven for just anyone. I guarantee you not one person from L’Aquila is asking the US to take them in because they are in the middle of an “earthquake ravaged region” the way Mr. Hernandez did.
Massachusetts, and by extension the US, needs to get out of the business of providing for those who don’t provide anything back to the state. It should come as no surprise that when lifelong residents go through rough economic times and start saving their money, the government scrambles to find ways to continue pumping cash into systems that are unsustainable. Time to steer the ship away from the iceberg – hopefully starting with a new generation of politicians.