One hates to see children harmed, but we must face the consequences of our policies:
Among the 2,800 already removed from RIte Care, just under half are illegal immigrants. But the other half have the right to be here. And all of them are children.
Some, in fact, are very sick children. Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, the HMO that cares for about 60 percent of RIte Care enrollees, including 50,000 children, has tallied the number of its patients who were affected by the RIte Care change. Among those dropped from RIte Care are 54 children with asthma, 50 with attention deficit disorder and eight with diabetes. One is in the midst of treatment for bone cancer and has already lost a leg. One needs a ventilator to breathe and is currently living at the state-run Tavares Center. Several have cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, depression or sickle cell anemia.
The plain reality, however, is that Rhode Island’s current tax-and-spend regime is not sustainable. Many more people — and probably these very children — will be hurt in the long run if changes are not made. Perhaps spending cuts should be made more deeply elsewhere, and those who support various public-sector benefits and such line items as legislative grants can’t hide behind a broad firewall of “necessary spending” to let sick children be the face of our government’s excessive habits.
There are various points to be made about the article, but for now, suffice it to say that, under the current circumstances, this isn’t exactly discouraging news:
Susanne Campbell, administrative director of the St. Joseph Center for Health and Human Services, said that her clinic, in Providence, recently received requests to send medical records to other states, suggesting that immigrants are leaving for Massachusetts and elsewhere.