Spotlight

The Hastings Center and New York Immigration Coalition Advise New York City Mayor on Improving Access to Health Care for Undocumented Immigrants

On April 20, The Hastings Center and the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) released a report, Undocumented Immigrants and Access to Health Care in New York City: Identifying Fair, Effective, and Sustainable Local Policy Solutions,” that offers recommendations to the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio on expanding access to needed health care for New Yorkers who are undocumented.

The report was written by Nancy Berlinger and Michael K. Gusmano, co-directors of the Undocumented Patients Project at The Hastings Center; Claudia Calhoon, health advocacy senior specialist at the NYIC; and Jackie Vimo, regional advocacy director at the NYIC, and was funded by a grant from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. 

“How to treat people when they are sick or injured and how to share limited resources fairly are societal questions that play out every day in hospitals and clinics,” said Berlinger, the report’s lead author. “These questions are especially important in immigrant societies, and in all cities shaped by global migration. New York City’s leadership in addressing these questions is of great significance locally and may encourage other cities to undertake similar initiatives.”

An estimated 500,000 New York City residents are undocumented. About 250,000 of these immigrants are uninsured and lack access to affordable health care because of their ineligibility for most forms of public insurance, making them heavily reliant on insufficient “emergency” provisions. In 2014, the de Blasio administration convened a task force on immigrant health access to identify more effective ways to meet the health care needs of populations left out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

“For too many people in New York City the emergency room is the only entry point to our health care system. We must do more to give them access to primary and preventive health services, and reduce our over-reliance on costly and episodic emergency care,” said Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. “The city’s immigrant health task force has been actively discussing strategies to address this problem, and we are glad to see our partners engaged in this conversation – the findings and recommendations in this report are important, and very welcome as we design our map to improve the health of all New Yorkers.”

Center News
In The Media

The New York Times
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A lead article in the Science section discusses Hastings Center Report articles on the ethically and legally controversial use of advance directives to enable people with dementia to hasten their death by refusing food and water.

The New Republic
November 1, 2014
Josephine Johnston co-authors an article on the risks of egg freezing.

The New York Times
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A letter to the editor by Greg Kaebnick discusses humans’ relationship to the wilderness.

Roll Call
July 10, 2014
Hastings Center board member Joseph J. Fins writes a commentary, “Congress, With Help of Private Ryan, Can Save the VA.”

Reuters
June 16 & 17
Nancy Berlinger and Mildred Solomon quoted in separate articles about the family dispute over Casey Kasem’s end-of-life wishes.

Newsday
May 10, 2014
Josephine Johnston quoted about Long Island doctors who recommend medications to hospitals while being paid by drug companies.

BMJ
May 6, 2014
Hastings Center senior advisor Rosemary Gibson looks at a small town in Maine to see the human impact of escalating health care costs on a community.

Wall Street Journal
April 28, 2014
Josephine Johnston quoted in an article about fertility treatments and multiple births, which also cites new article by Johnston, Michael Gusmano, and Pasquale Patrizio in Fertility and Sterility.

WMHT public television, Albany
April 10, 2014
Mildred Solomon interviewed on “Health Link” about the benefits of palliative care. 

Newsday
March 15, 2014
Josephine Johnston quoted on federal charges against Novartis for paying doctors to prescribe pills.

Associated Press and NPR
January 1, 2014
Nancy Berlinger quoted on brain death and the case of Jahi McMath.

New York Times 
December 1, 2013
Daniel Callahan’s op-ed, “On Dying After Your Time,” is published in the Sunday Review.

Slate
October 8, 2013
Hastings Center Report case on doctors googling a patient is subject of an article.

CBS, D.C.
September 18, 2013
Michael Gusmano quoted on relationship between mental illness and violence.

Nature
August 14, 2013
Tom Murray quoted about ethical questions raised by the BRAIN initiative.

Huffington Post
July 31, 2013
Hastings Center Guidelines called “a new must read resource for healthcare consumers.”

The New York Times
July 29, 2013
Nancy Berlinger quoted on dilemmas posed by pre-clinical testing for Alzheimer’s disease.

U.S. News Best Hospital Guidebook
July 12, 2013
Blair Sadler, board member and Fellow, interviewed about Fable hospital; Hastings Center Report essays cited. 

New York Times New Old Age blog
June 16, 2013
Over 65 blog post cited on why a geriatrician stopped accepting Medicare.

Huffington Post Live
June 6, 2013
Mildred Solomon, president, interviewed about pediatric lung transplants.

NPR’s Science Friday
May 17, 2013 
Josephine Johnston discusses ethical implications of new research that created the first human embryonic stem cells through cloning.

World Medical and Health Policy
March 2013
Michael Gusmano examines U.S. cancer survival statistics in light of claims that the U.S. health care system is the “best in the world.” 

Cell Stem Cell
February 7, 2013
Josephine Johnston coauthors article about absence of gamete donor consent in the NIH stem cell registry

The New York Times
January 20, 2013
Tom Murray quoted on the “arms race” in sport doping  

The New York Times
January 11, 2013
Letter to the Editor by Daniel Callahan on costs of medical care at the end of life