The Corner

Missing the Point

A news story today exemplifies how clueless reporters and politicians are about the impacts of immigration. My governor explained a new plan to use my tax money to subsidize health care for the uninsured:

One in seven Virginians still lack health insurance because their employers don’t provide it or because they cannot afford it. As more citizens rely on our health care safety net for their most basic health needs, we must strengthen that system.

Nowhere in this story did the word “immigration” appear, despite the fact that, nationwide, 71-percent of the growth in the uninsured since 1989 came from immigrants and their kids (according to a handy report we recently released). Even in Virginia, where the immigrant population is more diverse and educated than in a lot of other high-immigration states, immigrants and their young kids account for fully 34 percent of the state’s uninsured (up from less than a quarter of the uninsured as recently as 2005). Half of that uninsured number is made up of illegal immigrants and their young children. Now, there may be good reasons for subsidizing health care for the poor — but we should understand that the growth of this problem is driven by immigration and continuing on our current path can only lead to more and more subsidies.

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