Should Undocumented Aliens Be Entitled to Health Care?


  • James W. Nickel

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    • James W. Nickel is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for the Study of Values and Social Policy, University of Colorado, Boulder.


Congress recently decided that undocumented aliens are ineligible for medical benefits under the 1966 Medicaid Act, overruling a judicial decision that would have required the federal government to reimburse states partially for the costs of providing free care. Is providing such care simply a matter of prudence and charity? Or do illegal aliens have strong moral claims to medical care that generate duties for hospitals and government agencies?