In what is being called a plan to raise equity in healthcare, Illinois is slated to expand a government-backed healthcare program to provide coverage for the healthcare of aging illegal aliens in various areas. The new coverage will include hospital visits, physical therapy, and prescription drugs, among other coverage.
The Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors program started back in 2020 for anyone over the age of 65, with no regard for immigration status.
As of now, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services issued an announcement that the program is slated to become available to an additional group of those aged 55-64, also regardless of immigration status. Starting on the 1st of July 1, the program will be expanded even further to also include people between the ages of 42-55.
“Implementing more equitable health care coverage across the state is central to (the) mission, which means increasing access to quality health care choices for all Illinois residents, regardless of their immigration status,” stated Theresa Eagleson, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director, to MyJournalCourier.com.
“Amid a pandemic that has disproportionately affected older adults and people of color, efforts to remove barriers and create a more equitable health care system are more important than ever,” she stated.
The state agency boasted quite loudly about the fact that it was the taxpayers who would be footing the bill for the treatment of these illegal immigrants.
As stated by Assistant Director Jenny Aguirre to the website, “Immigrant families face many challenges in their lives and to know that their loved one may now have access to health care services will give families hope for a better quality of life in the state they’ve chosen as their home.”
“Everyone deserves to have a healthier future,” continued Aguirre.
The announcement crops up as the state of Illinois is more than $166 billion in debt. Illinois was the first state in the entire country to put in place such a program, but recently, New York created and implemented a similar program for elderly illegal immigrants.
A report from the New York Post recently stated that New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) signed a budget for 2022-2023 that contains a provision that “allows up to 20,000 elderly residents living here illegally to apply for Medicaid, the public health insurance program for the needy that served more than 7 million residents during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.”
The various critics of the New York initiative argue that it will only encourage more illegal immigration.
“It’s a slippery slope. New York disincentivizes people from ever becoming citizens. New York blurs the distinction. We should not be rewarding people who are not following the rules,” State Sen. George Borello explained to the Post.