The Nossiter Net
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Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
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Saturday, September 19th, 2009
Have you noticed that the same people who justify the
war in Iraq by claiming it was our duty to save the
Iraqis from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein absolutely
bar giving health care to undocumented immigrants.
Yes, Congressman Joe Wilson and his friends. The
argument: undocumented immigrants are not citizens
and therefore not entitled to U.S. government support.

But the Iraqis are also not U.S. citizens. Besides which
they're halfway across the world instead of right here
amongst us. In fact we have much less in common with
them than we do with our neighbors from across the
southern border. Yet the government is spending
trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of U.S.
casualties in the cause of helping them. Come to think
of it, that's the new justification for the war in
Afghanistan as well. We can't leave because the
Afghans need our help and would fall apart without us.
So we need to keep spending lives and billions to aid

Of course that's true of the Israelis, Egyptians,
Pakistanis, and all the other big recipients of U.S. aid.
They're emphatically not citizens. Indeed most of them
hate our guts. And yet we ship them billions a year. In
return we get – a lot of grief.

Providing health care to whoever needs it, including
those without papers, not only doesn't get anyone hurt,
but saves us grief and money too. The only health
option the undocumented have right now is the most
expensive one around: the emergency room. Anything
else is cheaper than that.

So while the faux debate rages among the loud and
imbecilic about how to pay for a health care system so
universal it covers everybody who needs it, no
questions asked, here's a practical suggestion: shut
down all our wars, all foreign aid that doesn't go directly
to funding human capital and, while we're at it, all the
billions we spend assisting stupid lost causes like the
war on drug gangs in Columbia and Mexico. All the
savings will pay for health care with money to spare.

©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2009
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