The Dallas Morning News
July 24, 2001
Opinion – Letters
First, take a nation without a coherent immigration policy. The border patrol does everything in its power to prevent illegal immigration while American businesses welcome with open arms foreign workers willing to do work Americans aren’t willing to do. Add a health care system where access is a privilege, not a right, regardless of one’s legal or citizenship status. Add a questionable political/legal opinion this month that illegal immigrants are not entitled to free preventative care. Then stir.
Beyond the terrible human injustice involved, restricting access for necessary medical care – including preventive services – is poor public health policy. Instead of wiping out infectious diseases, we could suffer nationwide epidemics. Imagine instead of eliminating polio epidemics and smallpox, such contagious diseases as hepatitis, AIDS and TB flourished because we decided to only provide access for those who could afford it.
Providing access to necessary medical care for all, regardless of legal or immigration status, is a wise and healthy policy.
JERRY FRANKEL, M.D. Plano, Texas
Jerry Frankel is a board member of Physicians for a National Health Program