Separation Policy For Migrant Families Is Costing Millions

Migrant Family Separation Policy Costing Millions and Causing Future Healthcare Problems

Trump’s Separation policy seen as draining funds from other programs

Would anyone care to guess how much healthcare will be needed in the future for the thousands of immigrant children separated from their families for weeks? Even if no lasting illnesses are the result of their incarceration, think of the psychological trauma and behavioral problems that will be the result of being ripped from their parents’ arms and transported miles away to a cage. The ones that are able to stay in the U.S will need care, no doubt for years.

But that’s the future. There are pressing financial consequences right now from the policy. Housing is costing $1.5 million a day, according to an article by Politico magazine published in the Kaiser Health News.

Influx centers needed

A lot of this amount is caused by the need to create “influx centers” because of the number of children involved. The standard centers are full, so officials have had to use temporary facilities, where the cost is $800 per child per night. This is three times the cost per child in a standard center.

The Department of Health & Human Services has spent close to $40 million in two months taking care of the migrant children and trying to reunite them with their parents. (Did anyone really think this policy through?)

One hundred caseworkers and 50 other support people have had to be hired to reunite the families. Then, there is the cost of transportation, as they have been sent to distant states.

These dollars are being rerouted from other sources, such as medical research, rural health programs, and other priorities.

When will the Separation policy affect Medicare?

With Congress claiming that Medicare and Medicaid are already costing too much, let’s hope the legislators don’t see the two programs as easy targets to divert funds to pay for the Trump administration’s border policy.

Already, Congress has just voted to eliminate the HHS database on medical guidelines. The database, created over a period of 20 years, contains critical medical guidelines and best practices. It was used frequently by people in the medical profession, to the tune of 200,000 visitors a month. It went dark in July. Why? Congress wouldn’t vote the needed $1.2 million to fund it. Less than the cost of one night to house the children.

As Alice said in Wonderland, things are getting “curiouser and curiouser.”


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