Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Before the Reform

Below are a couple of personal stories of patients who have experienced sorrows because of the Health Care system before the Reform.

Erin Walker is a 25-year old college student who has no health insurance. Currently, she has a hole in her spine and is unable to do many things, including her favorite things to do which are run and ride horses. There is a surgery that could fix the whole in her spine, but she cannot afford the surgery’s astronomical price. She cannot even afford the antibiotics that would lessen the pain that she goes through every day.  Since it is considered a preexisting condition, Erin’s health care does not cover her medical situation. Erin states, “Sometimes I wonder how much business we have helping other countries when we can’t even help our own.”

A couple of years ago, Brian Salmon was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Luckily, he had medical insurance, but it took him multiple years to pay the thousands of dollars off from the medical bills. Brian’s cancer went into remission, but he still had to go to the hospital for the next three years for follow-up visits. Three years after he went into remission, Brian’s insurance company informed him that they no longer considered his hospital a provider for their plans and if he wanted to be covered he must switch hospitals. Brian was heartbroken. He explains, “I had developed a relationship with the doctors, nurses, and staff at the hospital. They had been there during some of the toughest times of my life.” Also, he believes that the Health Care system is very unfair because it is biased towards the wealthy.

“I’m frustrated by the healthcare system,” says Evonne Hilton from Seattle, Washington. She was in a fairly good health care system and had a manageable plan, when she fell and very seriously damaged her head.  The doctors that treated her after the fall did not perform a diagnostic scan on her head; instead she was seen by a doctor and discharged from the emergency room with no other treatment. For several years, she found herself on the streets because she could not keep her job due to severe memory loss and an inability to function properly.  Since the recent Health Care Reform, Evonne lives on social security disability provided to her by Medicaid, in which she is able to pick her doctor and hospital.

Works Cited
Saib, Daina. "Health Care Stories from Patients, Doctors, and Activists by Daina Saib." YES! Magazine — Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions — YES! Magazine. Positive Futures Network, 6 Aug. 2006. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Catholic Church's Position on Immigration

Why are immigration policies a major concern of the Catholic Church? 
In the past, the Catholic Church has held a strong interest in the injustices regarding immigration and how public policy affects the immigrants who are searching for a new beginning in the United States. Today, the Catholic Church still continues to have a strong concern for the marginalized men, women, and families who are affected by the harsh immigration policies that the United States has established. The Church uses Scriptural passages, Catholic social teachings, and also her own experience as an immigrant Church in a new country (United States) as a firm ground to use her voice to speak on behalf of the immigrants whose God-given rights are being violated everyday. Therefore, the marginalized immigrants are not able to reach their full human potential as God had planned for them. The Church thinks that many immigrants are being victimized and their human dignity is degraded on behalf of the current immigration laws and guidelines that we have today. Also, families are being torn apart and families have been kept from seeing each other which does not promote the Church’s intention of marriage.  The Catholic Church’s intention of marriage is to have children and raise them as children of Faith to follow the mission of the Church. The Catholic Church feels that she has an obligation to help correct the immigration system to form just laws and policies that serves the common good. She wants to share the message of God to not only allow immigrants to reach their full potential possible, but also serve the common good of our nation by establishing proper security. 
Does the Catholic Church defend/encourage illegal immigration?
         The Catholic Bishops do not excuse illegal entry or circumvention (a way of avoiding restrictions imposed by a rule or law without actually breaking it) of the immigration laws our nation has established. However, they do believe reforms are absolutely a must in order for an improvement to our immigration systems. They believe that many changes have occurred, especially the reason why immigrants are compelled to immigrate to the United States. As a result, U.S. immigration guidelines and policies need to be updated to reflect these new changes. 

Works Cited
"Frequently Asked Questions." Justice for Immigrants. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 22 Aug. 2005. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Elvira Arellano Won't Stop Fighting

Elvira Arellano has become a national symbol of the fight for rights of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and an activist for illegal immigrant parents as she disregarded her deportation order.

Here is her story:
            Elvira illegally entered the United States in 1997, but was soon deported back to Mexico by the United States government. Within a couple of days, she returned to the United States and lived illegally for three years in Oregon. She gave birth to baby boy, Saul, who happens to be a U.S. citizen.  In 2000, a year after Saul was born, Elvira moved to Chicago and worked at the airport. On August 15, 2006, Elvira was ordered to appear before the immigration authorities on the account of being arrested and convicted of working under a false Social Security number. On that exact date, she and her son took refuge in the Adalberto United Methodist Church in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago.  For a year, she took refuge in the church to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born son. She explains, “From the time I took sanctuary, the possibility has existed that they arrest me in the place and time they want. I only have two choices. I either go to my country, Mexico, or stay and keep fighting. I decided to stay and fight.” In response, Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform says, “Just because the woman has gone public and made an issue of the fact that she is defying law doesn’t mean the government doesn’t have to do its job.” Mexican lawmakers tried to urge the United States government to suspend the deportation of Elvira and other parents of children who are United States citizens.  However, nine months later, she was arrested by U.S. federal agents in compliance with an existing deportation order and was accompanied to the border of Mexico. Repeatedly, Elvira has appealed for a stop to immigration raids that break up families with some member who in the United States legally and others illegally. She believes her son would be deprived of his rights as a U.S. citizen if had to go to Mexico simply because she did. While Elvira is currently still in Mexico, her son Saul is living with the pastor who started the sanctuary at the Church he and his mom took refuge in. As how Saul is doing, “He’s taking it better than we thought 

Works Cited
Hing, Julianne. "Elvira Arellano Keeps Her Promises, Won’t Stop Fighting." COLORLINES. 11 May 2009. Web. 08 Nov. 2011. 
Prengaman, Peter. "Immigration Activist Deported to Mexico." Breitbart.com. The Associated Press, 20 Aug. 2007. Web. 08 Nov. 2011.