A harbinger of U.S. impacts from Biden border crisis on America’s financially collapsing health care system
By Todd Bensman as published March 24, 2023 by the Center for Immigration Studies. See also: The Canadian Policy Behind the Surge of Illegals – and Mexican Cartel Operatives – at the Northern Border
As Arizona’s Yuma Regional Medical Center teetered on the brink of financial collapse, its administrators squarely blamed the hundreds of thousands of uninsured illegal immigrants admitted by the Biden administration through a gap in the southern border wall there who showed up for free medical care.
But mostly the historic mass-migration border crisis, now in its third year, in which the Joe Biden White House has been responsible for the arrival of more than three million uninsured illegal immigrants, has entirely escaped such explicit culpability for any contribution to the tightly coinciding debt crisis that is pushing the entire American health system to the verge of collapse right now.
American hospitals are weathering their worst financial crisis in decades. As many as 68 percent of the nation’s hospitals were projected to have ended 2022 with their operations in the red vs. 34 percent in 2019, according to industry reporting that blames almost everything but the uninsured illegal immigrants that Yuma’s hospital officials candidly acknowledge. Reporting often merely blames hospital obligations to treat ballooning numbers of “uninsured patients” or, as a recent Urban Institute report highlighted, “inadequate enrollment in comprehensive health care coverage”, for creating staff shortages and exacerbating a rainbow of systemic problems that preceded the border crisis.
Arising from the coincidence of health care system debt and hundreds of thousands of uninsured immigrants spreading across the United States every month, is acrobatic gaslighting dodges like this typical one:
“What has led to this post-pandemic nightmare is multifactorial,” went a recent Time Magazine op-ed warning of a coming system-wide financial collapse of American hospitals and clinics, never addressing who these uninsured patients might be.
But, helpfully, the big dodge is far less the case in next door Canada, where a legal immigrant importation program of unprecedented scope, undertaken by the liberal-progressive Justin Trudeau government, is often enough blamed out loud for ruining the country’s universal public health care system, vastly spiking emergency room wait times since the immigration program began to such an extent that “hundreds” of Canadians are unnecessarily dying in queue.
Conservative Canadian pundits are openly critical of the government’s immigration plan and show no restraint in naming it as an aggravating factor in the health care system collapse.
“There is no doubt that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s excessive levels of 400,000 immigrants per year have helped overwhelm the system,” wrote Financial Post columnist Diane Francis in November 2022. “His most recent announcement that immigration will be increased to 500,000 a year in 2025 is unsustainable.”
As a result of the immigration policy, Canadians increasingly face lengthy wait times for elective surgeries, procedures, appointments, tests, and imaging, the columnist complained.
The importance of publicly questioning, exploring and then recognizing, with precision, the causes of the problems that so consequentially impact any nation’s citizens means that diagnosis is necessary for any treatment, pardon the metaphor. Nothing less than the painful truth will do, even when saying something out loud offends in its conflict with protected political narrative.
And while some are diagnosing Trudeau’s immigration program for putting an intolerable, too often deadly, squeeze on Canada’s universal public health care system — the resulting bodies can’t very conveniently be tucked out of the way — the question of whether the Biden border crisis poses a significant contributing factor for America’s collapsing system goes without serious exploration let alone diagnosis.
What Trudeau’s Immigration Policy Allegedly Has Wrought on Canadians
Canadian voters elected Trudeau as prime minister in 2015, on a platform that promised the most ambitious legal immigration plan in Canada’s history. It was to add more than one million immigrants to the country’s 38 million population in his first three years.
After achieving the million by 2019, the Trudeau government announced an even more aggressive plan to bring in another 1.5 million by the end of 2022 (the majority from India and China), granting more than 437,000 permanent residency in just 2022 alone, the most ever in a single year. A 2023-2025 plan envisions bringing in nearly two million more.
“Canada, by virtually any metric, is the most pro-immigration country on earth,” starts a January 23, 2023, news story in the National Post.
That story reports that Canada’s already imperfect health care system went into renal failure as a direct consequence of Trudeau’s aggressive legal immigration policy, a development that polling shows has begun to turn the generally pro-immigration Canadian population against the program.
Under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, the government can decline sick immigration applicants if their medical needs are likely to put “excessive demand” on the country’s health care system based on a certain threshold calculus. No matter. Trudeau’s government brushed aside that barrier by raising the threshold to allow more sick immigrants in.
Health care wait times are now so long that Canadians are routinely dying in emergency rooms, according to some media reporting, and a recent meeting of all 13 of Canada’s premiers unanimously agreed that health care has become the country’s top issue.
Starting in early 2022, hospitals across Canada faced significant pressure due to “a rise in the number of sick people requiring care”, the BBC reported, not naming a culprit.
Staff shortages exacerbated by high new patient volumes forced some emergency departments to temporarily close their doors. When a spate of respiratory illnesses struck children, hospital degradation was well in progress and the country was unable to treat many and ran out of medicine.
“Words like ‘crisis,’ ‘historic,’ ‘unprecedented’ have almost gone from signal to noise,” Reuters quoted Ronald Cohn, chief executive officer of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the largest children’s health center in Canada. In British Columbia, an activist group formed called BC Health Care Matters, which lists statistics that illustrate the crisis state of the national health system. It now rallies protestors to demand an end to the mass immigration program.
Among its observations: Cancer screening takes months and then more months to start treatment. Waits for many specialists have stretched into years. Children’s hospitals are far beyond capacity. Walk-in clinics are closing.
You get the picture.
Time for Inquiry and Fearless Straight Talk
Back in the United States, where health care administrators and finance professionals are panicking, now might be a good time to ask questions about this particular consequence of the worst mass migration crises in American history.
Yes, the Canadian and American health care systems are very different. But both countries have in common the fact that millions of entering foreign nationals are suddenly piling up at hospitals, emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, and clinics who can’t be turned away under the traditions of medical ethics (and in some cases, under federal law).
In just a couple of years, the Biden administration has facilitated entry at the southern border of, at the very least, three million uninsured foreign nationals, accounting for another ever-undercounted 1.5 million “got-aways”. And like the Trudeau government, the Biden government has never cared about who was sick or would pose “excessive demand” on the system. Quite the opposite.
As I reveal at great length in my book Overrun, Biden administration policies specifically enticed among these millions advanced-stage pregnant women, unaccompanied minors, and families with young children with pediatric care needs to cross the border and stay. Millions of those who entered have been children.
Is it any wonder that The Atlantic had to pen a 2022 article titled “The Worst Pediatric-Care Crisis in Decades?” Or that the word immigrant or migrant never once appeared?
Since we all know without a shadow of any doubt that all of these uninsured millions are using the U.S. health care system and not paying into it, and also that the American health care system is said to have started really failing during their arrivals, is it really too much to ask for honest inquisition about whether Biden’s border policies have brought a heavy consequence to Americans and if they should continue to do so?