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Source: New York Times
Immigrants have contributed billions of dollars more to Medicare in recent years than the program has paid out on their behalf, according to a new study, a pattern that goes against the notion that immigrants are a drain on federal health care spending.
The study, led by researchers at Harvard Medical School, measured immigrants’ contributions to the part of Medicare that pays for hospital care, a trust fund that accounts for nearly half of the federal program’s revenue. It found that immigrants generated surpluses totaling $115 billion from 2002 to 2009. In comparison, the American-born population incurred a deficit of $28 billion over the same period.
Last week, the Associated Press ditched the demeaning and exclusionary term “illegal immigrant”. Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in 2011, responded with: “It was inevitable. It was just a matter of time.”
The New York Times called the AP decision “bold” and announced that it, too, is now reconsidering the term. That’s according to Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ public editor.
The Alpina Foods Inc. plant that just opened in Batavia, New York, to feed the nation’s growing appetite for Greek-style yogurt should have nearby dairy farmers such as Matt Lamb scrambling to expand their herds.
It isn’t — and not because cows are in short supply. Lamb says he’s reluctant to add to his family’s 5,000-cow dairy operation for fear he won’t have enough workers to milk them every day. That’s partly due, he says, to U.S. immigration laws that were designed for seasonal farm laborers instead of the year-round, seven-days-a-week ones he needs.
“There’s a true lack of warm bodies to do the work in this industry,” said the 36-year-old Lamb, walking through softly falling snow and nearly ankle-deep mud toward one of his milking parlors. “We have Americans who can do this work, but without the immigrants we won’t have enough. Businesses will fail, and prices will rise.”