Literature Review: Immigration and Health Care (Subtopic)

Topics: Health care, Immigration to the United States, Health insurance Pages: 2 (546 words) Published: February 15, 2013
Literature Review: Immigration and Health Care (Subtopic)
Walden University
SOCI 4080-6
Group A

Literature Review: Immigration and Health Care (Subtopic)
Another issue with immigration in the United States is the cost of health-care and other public services. The United States is a melting pot of culture and diversity. Many individuals migrate to the U.S. for many different reasons, whether to improve their education, living situation, or to be with family. While legal immigrants are entitled to federal health care programs like Medicaid and Medicare after residing in the United States for five years, illegal or undocumented immigrants are not; but all can receive emergency care (Mohanty, et. al, 2005, Glen, 2012). In their study, Mohanty et. al.(2005) show that health care expenditures are substantially lower for immigrants than for US-born persons and “refutes the assumption that immigrants represent a disproportionate financial burden on the US health care system” (p. 1431). Using national surveys and a 2-part regression model, the study found that “per capita total health care expenditures of immigrants were 55% lower than those of US-born persons ” and “expenditures for uninsured and publicly insured immigrants were approximately half those of their US-born counterparts” (Mohanty, et. al, 2005, p. 1431).

In addition to immigration reform to clear the path of citizenship, healthcare reform is also needed to include all immigrants upon entry to the United States. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 maintains the restriction on legal immigrants access to federal health care to five years of residence and excludes undocumented immigrants from all of its programs aimed at helping the uninsured gain coverage (Zuckerman, S., Waidmann, T. A., & Lawton, E., 2011). Zuckerman’s (et. al. 2011) article explains how not including undocumented immigrants in health care reform would cause them to be a larger portion of uninsured in...

References: Glen, P.J. (2012), Health care and the illegal immigrant. Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-008; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-024. Available at SSRN:
Mohanty, S. A., Woolhandler, S., Himmelstein, D. U., Pati, S., & al, e. (2005). Health care expenditures of immigrants in the united states: A nationally representative analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 95(8), 1431-8. Retrieved from
Zuckerman, S., Waidmann, T. A., & Lawton, E. (2011). Undocumented immigrants, left out of health reform, likely to continue to grow as share of the uninsured. Health Affairs, 30(10), 1997-2004. Retrieved from
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