Over 1,000 Oregonians were denied healthcare as the result of recent federal legislation designed to prevent illegal immigrants from taking advantage of state healthcare programs, according to a biannual report.
The new federal law in question requires that patients provide extensive proof of citizenship before receiving treatment. The report looked at over 200,000 Oregonians who had to get or retail healthcare services between Sept 2006 and Feb 2007 – the first six months since the law went into effect. While 99% were eventually able to prove citizenship and obtain healthcare, 1,011 Oregonians ended up being cut out of state programs. Of those turned down for healthcare, 91% came from English-speaking households. Only three Spanish-speaking people were unable to document their citizenship.
The law was a federal initiative to save states money that they were, theoretically, losing to illegal immigrants. However, in Oregon at least, the report suggests that very few illegal immigrants are abusing healthcare services, and the federal illegal immigrant hunters would be well advised to turn their attentions elsewhere before more American citizens suffer from their clumsiness.
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