The American College of Physicians has a message for Donald Trump and any other presidential contender advocating for mass deportation of illegal immigrants: Any plan to kick out those 12 million people from the country could have severe public health consequences.
On Tuesday, the doctors’ group, which represents 143,000 internists, released a statement urging physicians to take a stand against proposals for mass deportation.
“Large-scale deportation of undocumented residents would have severe and unacceptable adverse health consequences for many millions of vulnerable people,” Dr. Wayne J. Riley, the groups’ president, said in a statement. “Numerous studies show that deportation itself, as well as the fear of being deported, causes emotional distress, depression, trauma associated with imposed family separations, and distrust of anyone assumed to be associated with federal, state and local government, including physicians and other health care professionals providing care in publicly-funded hospitals and clinics.”
That distrust, in turn, could result in sick people not getting medical attention, and in cases of patients with infectious diseases, it could even lead to a public health emergency with tremendous costs to the to the overall health care system, the group warned.
On the other hand, having illegal immigrants in the country carries health care costs, too. Medicaid pays around $2 billion a year for emergency treatment for illegal immigrants, Kaiser Health News reported in 2013, adding that the total represents less than 1 percent of total Medicaid costs.
Still, the American College of Physicians said doctors have an ethical obligation to advocate for the health interests of all people, without consideration of their residency status.
“Physicians and other health professionals must remind politicians and policymakers that deporting millions of vulnerable people would have adverse health care consequences, not only for the people directly affected and their families, but also for their local communities and for the United States as whole,” Riley said in the statement. “Instead, we need a balanced immigration policy that ensures access to healthcare for all U.S. residents while recognizing that we need appropriate controls over who is admitted.”
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Politico’s Tim Alberta and Rachael Bade drop a blockbuster: “Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. … He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress. This would give Ryan a final legislative year to chase his second white whale, entitlement reform, while using his unrivaled fundraising prowess to help protect the House majority—all with the benefit of averting an ugly internecine power struggle during election season.”
Speculation has been swirling that Ryan could step down once “he’s harpooned his personal white whale of tax reform,” as HuffPost put it.
When asked at his weekly press conference whether he’ll be quitting anytime soon, Ryan chuckled and said, “I’m not, no.”
The finance ministers of Europe’s five largest economies — Germany, France, the U.K., Italy and Spain — warned that the Republican tax plan could have “a major distortive impact” on international trade and may violate international treaties. "The inclusion of certain less conventional international tax provisions could contravene the U.S.'s double taxation treaties and may risk having a major distortive impact on international trade," the ministers wrote in a letter to Mnuchin.
Politico reports: “The White House is quietly preparing a sweeping executive order that would mandate a top-to-bottom review of the federal programs on which millions of poor Americans rely. And GOP lawmakers are in the early stages of crafting legislation that could make it more difficult to qualify for those programs. … The president is expected to sign the welfare executive order as soon as January, according to multiple administration officials, with an eye toward making changes to health care, food stamps, housing and veterans programs, not just traditional welfare payments.”
President Trump signed a short-term continuing resolution today to fund the federal government through Friday, December 22.
Bloomberg called the maneuver “a monumental piece of can kicking,” which is no doubt the case, but at least you’ll be able to visit your favorite national park over the weekend.
Here's to small victories!