How Obamacare Is Shaping the Immigration Debate
(Editor's Note: This guest blog was written by Michael LaMagna, a Partner at Helwig, Henderson, Ryan, LaMagna and Spinola, LLP.)
When people ask me why I enjoy healthcare law and all of its related fields, I always answer that healthcare relates to everything. At first glance, the immigration debates seem very separate from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and it is not apparent how they are interrelated. However, it is very possible that the entire Immigration Reform Bill will pass or fail, because of ACA.
As I am writing this there is hot debate on whether the Immigration Reform Bill will pass Congress; however, the latest sticking point is when or even if immigrants who are granted permanent status would be granted health benefits. Senate Republicans are advocating that immigrants would be ineligible for federal health subsidies for five years after they become legal residents and House Republicans are advocating that they be required to purchase private health insurance, without access to Federal money. At the same time, many border-state governors are rejecting the implementation of ACA altogether, the effects of which remain uncertain. One thing that is clear is that neither the Senate nor House Immigration Bill will help the uninsured illegal immigrants get health insurance.
Another related Immigration Bill concern is the usage of a National Identification Card, which can be used for identification, medical records retrieval, healthcare monitoring and is tied to the Department of Homeland Security nationwide computer. This is causing both sides to discuss not only the security issue, but the privacy of healthcare information and who will have access. I am not sure if we are quite prepared to turn over our private healthcare information to the government, who will be monitoring our healthcare, could very well be a conflict.
Once again, I say to all of you out there, healthcare certainly affects every part of our life and shapes the national debates in one way or another.
This article is provided for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article shall be construed as legal advice or should be relied upon as such. Michael LaMagna is a Partner at Helwig, Henderson, Ryan, LaMagna and Spinola, LLP, practicing Elder Law/Probate/Disability/Wills, Trusts and Estates, Health Care Regulatory, Medicare Appeals, Social Security and General Legal practice in both New York and Connecticut. Email him at Mlamagna@hhrls.com, call him at 914-437-5955 or visit Attorney LaMagna's website at www.HHRLS.com for more information.