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Medicare and Immigration

by: Ahrin Mishan | Mon, Jun 3, 2013 | immigration, medicare

Every now and then a study comes along that alters, in subtle yet profound ways, our understanding of the world.

A recent report led by researchers at Harvard Medical School shows that immigrants contribute significantly more to Medicare than the program disburses on their behalf. This contradicts a commonly held belief that immigrants constitute a major drag on Medicare spending and other healthcare resources.

Quite the opposite, the study demonstrates that from 2002 to 2009, immigrants created surpluses of $115 billion dollars for Medicare, while the American–born population generated a deficit of over $28 billion.

It will be fascinating to see whether these new findings contribute to a meaningful shift in our collective thinking or whether the old narratives about healthcare’s “givers and takers” are just too deeply ingrained to be revised.  Will this new research influence policy makers to amend restrictions on immigrant’s access to care? Will it have an affect on the perceptions of healthcare providers and practitioners and if so, will that translate into a qualitative difference in the delivery of care? What if any impact might this have on nurse managed clinics that serve many in this population?

How does this affect you? Let us know your thoughts.

For more, please see the NY Times article and the original study published in Health Affairs


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