I take exception to Marco Ocana and Francisco Espinoza (letter Aug. 9) that undocumented immigrants “who work hard and contribute to the economy” of the local area deserve to be covered by Medi-Cal and Medicare “because health care is a human right.”
Medicare and Medicaid were enacted by the U.S. Congress to cover citizens of the United States, who must first pay into the system in order to be eligible for health care under either program at the appropriate age. Also, Medicare Part B requires a nominal annual payment for health care other than hospitalization. Undocumented immigrants are not citizens of the United States (they are still citizens of their originating countries), have not paid into these programs, and are not eligible for coverage, nor should they be.
The U.S. is $18 trillion in debt, partly because of our many giveaway programs over the years. We cannot provide health-care coverage and other social programs for citizens of the world. Those who are here illegally have the option of purchasing health coverage from many insurance companies both here and abroad. Most opt to get their coverage from local emergency rooms and have the U.S. taxpayers pick up the tab.
James E. Gilmore, Clovis