18 Jul 2009

Ezra Klein Apparently Doesn’t Think Immigrants Are Part of the Universe

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I don’t know what the timelines are, so maybe he didn’t have access to this information when he wrote his short post. But here Ezra Klein points to how encouraging the fate of Massachusetts is for health care reform (HT2MR). Nowhere does Klein mention this:

As lawmakers on Capitol Hill battle to create a nationwide health care system to cover all, Massachusetts is struggling to keep the state’s groundbreaking universal coverage program up and running.

Facing a massive budget shortfall, lawmakers are cutting roughly 30 thousand legal, taxpaying immigrants out of the state subsidized Commonwealth Care program.

Health Care for All, a Boston based advocacy group, is taking hundreds of calls on their help line from people like El Salvador native Eugenio Hernandez who is battling prostate cancer and will be among those losing coverage.

So apparently it’s still “universal” coverage even when you kick out a bunch of legal immigrants who are paying the government premiums just like they’re supposed to. But surely when they do it at the federal level, costs will go down (as they are wont to do with other government programs) and there will be no temptation to ration care to politically weak groups.

Besides Klein failing to mention the 30,000 immigrants getting dropped (which might not have been in the news when he posted, I don’t know), his excitement over the fate of Massachusetts baffles me. As I said on MR in the comments, Is Klein even making an argument here? It sounds like he’s saying, “This has to work, because otherwise it will fail.” Seriously, look at his post. I really think that’s a fair summary of his argument.

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