Challenges and Solutions

For the past decade, the U.S. has been home to a settled population of 11 million undocumented immigrants.

  • Low-income pop­u­la­tion with lim­it­ed access to jobs offer­ing health insur­ance. Exclud­ed from fed­er­al­ly fund­ed insur­ance (Medicare, Med­ic­aid).
  • Health care access relies heav­i­ly on fed­er­al pro­vi­sions for emer­gency med­ical treat­ment (EMTALA) and for safe­ty-net clin­ics.
  • Lack of insur­ance plus explic­it exclu­sions severe­ly lim­its access to non-emer­gency med­ical ser­vices beyond pri­ma­ry care clin­ics.
  • Out­comes data sug­gest that invest­ment in non-emer­gency ser­vices pre­vents cost­ly defaults to emer­gency pro­vi­sions.
  • Eth­i­cal and prac­ti­cal uncer­tain­ties arise for pro­fes­sion­als when pol­i­cy does not sup­port the deliv­ery of stan­dard med­ical care.
  • Local solu­tions include invest­ments in coor­di­nat­ing pub­lic hos­pi­tals and clin­ics with non­prof­it com­mu­ni­ty health cen­ters to pro­vide reli­able low-cost care.
  • State solu­tions include use of state-fund­ed Med­ic­aid mech­a­nisms to pro­vide cov­er­age or reim­burse­ment for need­ed ser­vices.
  • Fed­er­al poli­cies pri­or­i­tiz­ing depor­ta­tion add new uncer­tain­ties for pro­fes­sion­als, orga­ni­za­tions, and com­mu­ni­ties.

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