Uncategorized

POLICY: Wrong, but wrongly influential

At the recent PRI meeting, one loony lambasted me for failing to agree with her that all the problems of the US health care system were due to all that care bing wasted on illegal immigrants. I asked her to provide me with photographic evidence of cancer patients swimming the Rio Grande…

But a UCLA study has found that even adjusted for age and health status:

Illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries are 50% less likely than U.S.-born Latinos to use hospital emergency rooms in California, according to a study published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Of course this isn’t news to us wonks, but here’s a quiz for ya; which one of me and the loony will be voting in the Republican primary? That tells you lots about our health care policy options.

Livongo’s Post Ad Banner 728*90

Categories: Uncategorized

Tagged as:

13
Leave a Reply

13 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
JPJPtcoyotePeterBradley Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
JP
Guest

I do agree that the study should probably have compared illegals to the overall sample not just legal immigrants or US Born Latinos. Why they chose to compare with US born Latinos is a curious decision. They could easily run the numbers against any other group as well. I think that any data they have on illegals is legitimate, based on the reasons I’ve given above. Now, whether or not the data on non-illegals is legitimate, that is another question. I would say that it is legitimate. The logic is thus: if the (honest reporting) illegals reported fewer hospital visits,… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

2&3) The study measured illegals compared to US born Latinos and other populations. The findings regarding those who self-report being undocumented is skewed when the undocumented report as legal citizens. This is where I have zero faith in the validity of self-reporting surveys, particularly with this population and on these questions. It’s also why I believe the completion rate and the point at which folks dropped off are very much relevant. 4) “Illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries are 50% less likely than U.S.-born Latinos to use hospital emergency rooms in California, according to a study published… Read more »

JP
Guest

1) In theory, RDD dials mobile phones as well as residential, but, yes, phone interviewing does have a bias towards landline phones, especially in this day and age when more and more people are dropping landlines in favor of cell phones. I’ve seen some studies that show that while it does have a bias, this doesn’t necessarily translate into drastically different responses. The cell phone bias crosses demographic boundaries, as I understand it. 2) Illegals reporting as legal may affect findings as they pertain to the legal responses, so perhaps the data on legal immigrants or legal residents or even… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

1) You know more about RDD than I do, but my understanding is that the high rate of mobile phone use as a primary phone by the illegal population complicates telephone surveys. My experience with it has been in the Medicaid population where contact presents massive problems and the widespread use of cell phones (and the tunrover of the numbers) presents problems. 2) How exactly do we determine the honesty of responses? How does an illegal reporting as legal not affect the outcome of a study measuring use by legal/illegal status? 3) Completion rate is less of an issue if… Read more »

JP
Guest

Actually Alex, you’re wrong on several points. 1) RDD (random digit dialing) does not rely on listed phone numbers. It’s generated by a randomized dialer, so it does not exclude anything. 2) Yes, this could be an issue, but in the other direction. It makes the pool of illegals to analyze in this study smaller, not bigger. If not all the respondents answered honestly, then they simply aren’t included in the findings about legals / illegals so it shouldn’t affect the findings. They obviously had a large enough percentage of respondents who did report their undocumented status, so the analysis… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

Problems: 1) Random telephone survey based on numbers available in directory. This is automatically going to hamper the sample, regardless of its size, as it is going to exclude a large percentage of the illegal population. 2) Self-reporting of immigration status. This is pretty straight forward. 3) Completion rate. The findings of the study may reflect an accurate picture of immigrants use of health care- it makes sense- but it’s not because their study proved it. Read the book again. The demand is not for labor, but for cheap labor. When there is demand for labor, wages should rise to… Read more »

JP
Guest
JP

I love commenters like Alex who make asinine statements about methodology when they so clearly don’t know that the heck they’re talking about. Yes, I looked at the methodology Alex, and it is most certainly not a joke. First of the all, the question about one’s legal status is only one question out of a 30+ minute questionnaire on healthcare issues in general which was administered to over 40,000 people. The survey captured people all over California of all ethnicities, not just Hispanics, legal or otherwise and focused on many healthcare related topics. The legal residency question is most likely… Read more »

tcoyote
Guest
tcoyote

I wouldn’t use ER’s either if I felt that I might get reported and deported. At $1000 a month for family coverage, even doubling what illegals are paid wouldn’t enable them to purchase private coverage. It certainly wouldn’t be a public health tragedy if those biggy fries cost $2.00 instead of 79c.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Well tcoyote, maybe if they were paid better wages, they could buy their own health insurance. Would you be in favor of that and willing to pay more for food? I’m not sure you messed up the story line. Matthew said they are 50% LESS likely to use emergency rooms than latino citizens, not that 10 mil. were uninsured. I do agree that border states have a harder time handling the latino uninsured and that the Dems will do no better at insuring them under any universal plan unless we truly go to gov run single-pay. As usual Americans want… Read more »

tcoyote
Guest
tcoyote

Sorry, Mathew, for messing up the story line, but according to the Census Bureau, over 10 million of the 47 million uninsured are not citizens. And of course, that’s a low estimate because if you’re illegal, you’re not going to stand there and answer a Census questionnaire. It isn’t as big a financial risk to the health system as the more than 10 million boomers who are uninsured, but it isn’t negligible either. Illegals are a huge issues for sunbelt hospitals, who are required by EMTALA to treat first and ask coverage questions later. All the Democratic Presidential candidate blather… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

Yea Alex, care to share your “methodology”?

Bradley
Guest
Bradley

Alex
Can you post a reference looking at what you decribe. I would be interested in reviewing.
Brad

Alex
Guest
Alex

a) did you look at the methodology? It is a joke.
b) As long as people continue to not count the legally-born babies of illegal immigrants as an expense due to illegal immigration then illegal immigration will not be a primary driver. Once you start adding that up, it becomes a huge factor.