Immigration Issues In Health Care

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The main focus of many immigrant debate is whether or not unauthorized immigrants should be included in any of the health care bill or whether or not immigrants are taking over jobs that Americans do not want to do. What is always forgotten is the fact that immigrants are a critical part of the health care workforce at both high and less skilled ends of the occupational spectrum. Evidently, immigrants encompass more than “one one-quarter of all Physicians and Surgeons in the United States, and roughly one-fifth of all Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides”.
“Immigrant health care workers are employed in occupations that are not only expected to experience relatively high labor demand over the coming decade, but in which there are already pronounced worker shortages in many parts of the country”. Even if more native-born workers are drawn into health care professions in the future, the role that immigrants play in providing health care services is likely to increase as the U.S. population continues to age and the growing population of senior citizens requires more medical care.
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Initially, immigration makes the U.S. economy (GDP) larger. However, by itself a larger economy is not a benefit to native-born Americans. Though the immigrants themselves benefit, there is no body of research indicating that immigration significantly increases the per-capita GDP. Additionally, there is the fiscal impact, taxes paid by immigrants minus the costs they create for government. There is overall agreement that less-educated, lower-income immigrants are a net fiscal drain; and more-educated, higher-income immigrants are a net fiscal
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