The Seen and the Unseen
The influx of illegal aliens has serious hidden medical
consequences. We judge reality primarily by what we see. But what
we do not see can be more dangerous, more expensive, and more
deadly than what is seen.
Illegal aliens’ stealthy assaults on medicine now must rouse
Americans to alert and alarm. Even President Bush describes
illegal aliens only as they are seen: strong physical laborers who
work hard in undesirable jobs with low wages, who care for their
families, and who pursue theAmerican dream.
What is unseen is their free medical care that has degraded and
closed some of America’s finest emergency medical facilities, and
caused hospital bankruptcies: 84 California hospitals are closing
their doors. “Anchor babies” born to illegal aliens instantly qualify
as citizens for welfare benefits and have caused enormous rises in
Medicaid costs and stipends under Supplemental Security Income
and Disability Income.
What is seen is the illegal alien who with strong back may
cough, sweat, and bleed, but is assumed healthy even though he and
his illegal alien wife and children were never examined for
By default, we grant health passes to illegal aliens. Yet many
illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought
and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis,
malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease.
What is seen is the political statistic that 43 million lives are at
risk in America because of lack of medical insurance. What is
unseen is that medical insurance does not equal medical care.
Uninsured people receive medical care in hospital emergency
departments (EDs) under the coercive Emergency Medical
Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1985 (EMTALA), which
obligates hospitals to treat the uninsured but does not pay for that
care. Also unseen is the percentage of the uninsured who are illegal
aliens. No one knows how many illegal aliens reside in America. If
there are 10 million, they constitute nearly 25 percent of the