Solidarity with Strangers, Health for All
Should citizens provide immigrants with health care? Despite the right to health, few countries ensure that all immigrants receive the same healthcare as citizens. Although immigrants are typically younger and healthier than citizens and often bear the burden of caretaking for citizens and their families, many citizens blame immigrants for their health problems. In turn, nations create exclusionary policies that discriminate against newcomers. Sometimes rich nations have shaped the conditions that drive the global poor to leave their native countries. But one person’s health can affect the health of others and good health can benefit many. Given the public dimensions of health, failure to help newcomers in need of care is not only counterproductive because it puts the health of all at risk, but it also violates basic principles of fairness, reciprocity and justice. Health for all requires solidarity with others.
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