"Why can't we be treated the same?" he asked while sitting in his hospital room. "Health care should be a human right, not a privilege. At least give us the chance to fight for our lives with dignity."
That's a quote from illegal alien Jorge Mariscal, after receiving a free kidney transplant, courtesy of Loyola Medical Center. Yes, Jorge, even after the generous benevolence of a private medical institution poured out on him, was still spouting Marxist rhetoric and complaining about the medical system in the US. Yes, the very medical system that gave him a kidney, that thousands of legal US residents of a multitude of colors and races are waiting for, apparently hasn't done quite enough yet for him and others.
The anti-rejection medications he needs cost around $10,000 per year, and "paying for them is complicated by his immigration status." It's not complicated for Jorge to pay for them, that is, but it is complicated on how to get the government to fund them for him, given that he never came to the US via legal routes.
The article at the Chicago Tribune makes the case for the need to pay for Mariscal's ongoing drugs by saying:
He applied for a grant through the Simon Bolivar Foundation, a medical nonprofit, that would help cover his first year of anti-rejection pills. But without health insurance, he expects he'll have to pay for most of his medication.
To get a head start on his future medical bills, Mariscal started raising money three years ago. Together with Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Little Village, he has raised thousands of dollars through benefit concerts and other events.
The Rev. Jose Landaverde, pastor of the mission, said he felt compelled by the Gospel to help Mariscal after hearing his story.
"Jorge is a lot of hope for the community," he said. "I believe that the Gospel moves us to be in solidarity with one another."
Aside from his help with fundraising, Landaverde organized a 21-day hunger strike in June against hospitals that denied transplants to patients because of their undocumented status.
Landaverde said that after the strike, in addition to Mariscal's treatment at Loyola, the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center agreed to evaluate Lorenzo Arroyo, another illegal immigrant, for a possible liver transplant. Rush University Medical Center also placed Arroyo's brother, Elfego, on a transplant waiting list. Both brothers suffer from primary amyloidosis, a genetic liver disease.
On Friday, Landaverde led a short prayer at the Little Village mission to celebrate Mariscal's successful surgery. Church member Hilda Burgos bowed her head as the pastor recited his prayer in Spanish.
"I feel so happy for Jorge but at the same time so sad for the Arroyo brothers," Burgos said afterward. "We still have a lot of work to do."
While I do not desire to see any ill-fate happen to any human being, the fact is, Jorge gladly placed himself in front of a line of US citizens waiting for a transplant. Children, orphans, military members, adults, the elderly, homeless, and just regular ole' folk. Jorge's question of "why can't we all be treated the same", clearly grew out of a philosophy of believing he is due what he has not earned: US citizenry. If he was a US citizen, he'd have no plight. He'd either work hard, have insurance or a health care sharing ministry (like the one my family and I participate in) and get in line with the rest of the souls that are equally as valuable as he is, or he'd have government handouts of health care, and he'd get in line for a kidney to be funded by taxpayers. However, he didn't get in any line, because he claims the line has not allowed him in. Instead, he jumped over the fence the line borders, and demanded he be placed at the front because the fence was so high.
When he put himself in the front of the line for which he was not allowed to stand in, human benevolence stepped in, because we are a charitable and giving nation full of hospitals who delight in helping people get well. He used our benevolence and giving and technology to spit in the face of the little boys and girls in line behind him, those who have insurance, or health sharing, or those who are receiving medical care from the government. He stepped in front of soldiers on the waiting list, and mothers and fathers.
Adding to the frustration are the arguments of human rights or entitlement. Attempts to paint those who reject free-rides and illegal gain as racists is the name of the game. Never mind that Americans, particularly those of faith, give more money in a true act of charity, to those in need locally and abroad, than any other people on the Earth. We care for more orphans, more victims, more down trodden and more of God's people than any secular or socialist nation could ever press on us with their thievery and bureaucracy.
In order to benefit from everything our nation claims to be able to offer today: food, shelter, education, transportation, immunizations, abortion, STD testing, surgery, medications, social security, jobs and job training, free cell phones, etc., etc., you must be a citizen that is required to pay taxes on any earnings to assist in funding said "benefits". You cannot live tax-exempt and illegally for years, and then demand the programs you have avoided chipping in for.
For those of us "chipping in" (or rather having larger and larger portions of our earning stolen from us) for these programs, most of us will never use them. Frustrations, apathy and rebellion occur in a people who are told to pay, but get in the back of the line, because a specific race or plight of people are more important than you. Don't forget to leave your paycheck in the box for them on your way out.