When Getting Deported Is Good for Your Health

I recently talked to a worker in a Washington, DC pharmacy about how hard it is for many Americans to get health care. She told me a story that sums up our nation's misdirection.

She has an adult stepson with schizophrenia. Over the years he has landed in jail many times for nonviolent offenses. Usually he's been picked up for sleeping in public places when struggling with his illness.

At one point, this woman hadn't heard from her stepson for two years, and she had no idea where he was or how to reach him. Then he called from an Arizona jail. He'd made his way across the country, and yet again he'd landed behind bars because of his illness.

This man was not a US citizen. He'd lived in the US for most of his life, but he was born in Great Britain. Because he'd had so much trouble with the law, he was deported.

Within 2-3 months of arriving in Britain, the National Health Service was providing him with psychiatric care, a support system, and even an apartment. He was living a healthy life for the first time in many years. His stepmother said getting deported was the best thing that could have happened to him.

If that isn't a good argument for health care reform, I don't know what is.