Essay: Undocumented Immigrants and the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act was enacted in March 2010, and its purpose was to provide Americans with a better health security and improve the quality of care for all Americans. However, the Affordable Care Act fails to include the undocumented immigrants. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are approximately 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States.

It is very difficult for them to access healthcare. Although there are health programs and services available to them, most of them decline to access or sign up for these services due to the fear of being deported back to their country. Even though undocumented immigrants live illegally in the United States, they should be included in the Affordable Care Act because to keep diseases from spreading, to decrease emergency room capacity and they contribute to US society just as much as citizens do.

Undocumented Immigrants and the Spread of Diseases

When undocumented immigrants come to the United States, they are also introducing serious diseases including Tuberculosis, Swine Flu, Influenza, and . Consequently, this causes a threat to the rest of the US population. Some may also lack vaccinations such as chicken pox or measles, which especially makes the elderly and children susceptible to these diseases. By including illegal immigrants into the Affordable Care Act, they are able to receive extensive healthcare. This includes preventive care such as vaccinations and testing and they are able to go to a primary care physician to receive treatment. Ultimately, immigrants are able to receive proper health treatment so that the United States can have better control over the spread of diseases.

Continuation of Increasing Emergency Room Visits

One of the main goals of Affordable Care Act is to provide more health care coverage for people. By granting undocumented immigrants the opportunity to become a part of the Affordable Care Act, there will be a reduction in emergency room visits. Emergency rooms are currently the only place in the U.S. health care system where an individual has full entry to a variety of health care services at any time, without having the ability to pay or severity of the condition. By not having health care coverage, immigrants would avoid visiting doctors as long as possible. They would wait until their health problems become serious that they would resort to using the emergency rooms as their primary care. As a result, they could have a much worse prognosis and can also lead more costs to taxpayers. Because undocumented immigrants may not have the funds to cover their hospitalization costs, Medicaid would spend approximately $2 billion a year on emergency care services. A single emergency room visit or hospitalization costs 2-5 times more than a doctor???s visit. As a result, there is more tax money being spent on hospital costs. Emergency rooms will also continue to become overcrowded, which will extend the waiting time and impact the quality of care given to all types of patients. Denying the Affordable Care Act to illegal immigrants will not only hurt doctors and hospitals financially, but will prevent them from getting necessary care and will only increase health care costs and insurance premiums.

Undocumented Immigrants: Contributors to Society

Unauthorized immigrants do pay taxes just like citizens do, in the form of income, property, and sales, both federal and state. They pay $90 to $140 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. Unauthorized immigrants also assist in strengthening the US economy. For instance, they create new jobs by starting their own businesses, in which in turn can create jobs for American workers. It stimulates the economy by raising the supply of low and high skilled labor. It has been shown that illegal immigrants typically do the low skilled labor that the average American simply does not want. Low skilled labor helps to keep costs low; price consumers would pay higher for hotels or restaurants if no one did the low skilled jobs. Since undocumented immigrants contribute to US society just as much as US citizens do, they should be included in the Affordable Care Act.

Against Undocumented Immigrants

Alternative viewpoints include that undocumented immigrants bring crime and violence into the US. According to the Department of Homeland Security, it is estimated that 20% of the inmates are illegal immigrants. Not only they broke the law to arrive illegally into the United States, they also conduct crime. For instance, in 2005, 2.2 million kilograms of cocaine and 11.6 kilograms of marijuana were smuggled into the United States from the Mexican border. The expansion of drug trafficking is due to the growing amount of illegal immigrants in the states. Undocumented immigrants also commit identity theft once they cross the border. A criminal group called the Castorena Family Organization provides illegal immigrants with counterfeit documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and even counterfeit dollars. Since unauthorized immigrants raise more crime rates and violence in America, they should not be included in the Affordable Care Act.


Although undocumented immigrants may have violated US law to live in the states illegally, they should be included in the Affordable Care Act. This allows unauthorized immigrants the access to healthcare coverage; they are able to visit their primary care physician to receive instant treatment and preventive care services so that they will not have to visit the emergency rooms. This benefits the United States to reduce healthcare costs and have more control over the spread of diseases. Also, illegal immigrants contribute to US society in many different ways. They start their own businesses, work in all types of labor fields, and pay taxes. Thus, they should receive the health care coverage that they deserve.

Source: Essay UK -

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