American Morning

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March 9th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Saving Carlos: The face of California's crisis

Editor’s Note: Yesterday on American Morning, we introduced you to Carlos. He's 8, uninsured, and struggling with ADHD and severe anxiety. Now, deep budget cuts in California could put his future in jeopardy. Is it fair to put a price on something like that? Today, CNN's Thelma Gutierrez takes a look at the debate for original series we're calling "Saving Carlos."

Carlos’ therapist says taxpayers will pay the price for Carlos either now while he's is in treatment or later on if he doesn't get help.
Carlos’ therapist says taxpayers will pay the price for Carlos either now while he's is in treatment or later on if he doesn't get help.

By Thelma Gutierrez, CNN

(CNN) - Carlos lives in south Los Angeles. His mother is a homemaker. His father is a street vendor.

Carlos says he wants us to understand his world. Although he is only a 2nd-grader, what struck me most over the month we spent with him is that already he says he wants a new life.

Carlos suffers from ADHD and severe anxiety, made worse by problems at home.

“I draw a picture about my family because they were fighting,” says Carlos. “Sometime when they fight, it's because when my dad drinks.”

Carlos' father didn't want to be on camera, but acknowledged he has had a hard time lately and financial pressures have only made things worse at home.

Carlos' mother, Leticia, wants to keep the family together, but knows they need help. Their son was failing in school and becoming disruptive at home.

The face of California's crisis Video

When Leticia went looking for help, what she found were clinics grossly overburdened. In Los Angeles County alone, $216 million was slashed from its mental health department. Now county clinics are only taking kids who are suicidal or physically violent, not kids like Carlos, whose condition might not be as urgent, but is still just as serious.

It took nearly a year for Leticia to find St. John's Family Center in south L.A., a free clinic that accepted his case.

She told me her kids are everything to her and allowed us to shoot her son's private therapy sessions because she wants to put a face on California's bruising budget crisis.

Now, just as Carlos is starting to make progress, Leticia learned St. John's clinic also had its mental health care budget slashed.

“Just from this one clinic, seven thousand people will not receive mental health services,” says Jim Mangia of St. John's Family Center. “Out of that number, probably four thousand are children.”

This is where kids like Carlos are pulled into a political tug of war.

“I know it sounds mean and there are lots of different groups who'll say we need money. Schools need money, cities need money,” says Mike Spence, CA Republican Assembly. “All those money trees have been cut down in California, so we have to deal with it by reducing spending the best we can.”

“Does this state have a responsibility to care for its children? Do conservatives think we don't have that responsibility?” asks Mangia.

“The government has over-promised to people,” says Spence. “There are a lot of programs for children, mentally ill, the disabled. The problem is government keeps over-spending and over-taxing.”

But it’s a tough trade off.

Carlos’ therapist, Elena Fernandez, says taxpayers will pay the price for Carlos and other youngsters like him, either now while he's is in treatment or later on if he doesn't get help.

Why the taxpayers?

“Why? Because eventually we end up paying for the emergency services, the psychiatric wards, the cost it takes to imprison someone,” she says.

In California, it costs about $45,000 a year to keep someone behind bars. Fernandez worries leaving a generation of kids like Carlos untreated could mean losing them forever. But what about the cost for Carlos, a boy who loves baseball and math?

“In my future, I want to behave good,” Carlos says.

After 6 months, Elena says Carlos is finally ready to graduate. Meanwhile, his mother says the drinking and fighting at home have stopped.

And at Carlos' new school, his teacher told me he has noticed a big difference since Carlos began therapy. He's now thriving in the classroom and on the playground.

The cost of saving Carlos? About $2,000.


Filed under: Education cuts • Saving Carlos
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    The bigger long term problem is we will have a generation of immigrants who chose to separate themselves from America. The lack of effort to assimilate into American society does not help their cause. The people who voicing their frustration are not racist or hate hispanics but rather sick of tired watching America being bled dry. I am of latin american descent however my family waited their turn in line to come to this great nation legally. English was the spoken language in our household and embraced everything about America. Ill never forget how proud my dad was growing up that every 4th of July he always had to have the biggest USA flag in front of our house. My whole point is this is not about race but preserving America and not allowing it to turn into a 3rd world rat hole like the ones my parents left.

    March 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  2. L. Whitehead

    Even if they are legal, why would social services not put them in touch with classes to teach english to his mother, and that would benifit the family the most. Knowing english opens so many doors to her families future, not to mention the example she has set for her children to get an education, thats how people earn a higher standard of living in the US, than Mexico.

    We also need more border security, funny how many billions we can vest into wars to protect our national interests, and yet at our very borders we under fund & staff our border control. We need to create jobs that can increase border security.
    Looks like the drones used in military are being tested, but why did this ideal take so long. I am sure there are many, many more good ideals to increase border control. Let's get to it.

    March 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  3. Bob Ramos

    Not one of the bigots that claim that the family is illegal can point to one passage in the article that says they are illegals.

    March 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  4. Bob Ramos

    CA's economic problems have nothing to do with illegal immigrants.

    However, the major catalyst for CA's budget problems is this. Sometime in the 70's, a fellow called Javits got fed up with what he believed to be ecalating state taxes. So this chap started a petition that grew and grew. The principal feature of this petition that became law was that CA could not increase its tax rate beyound a certain percentage no matter the circumstances. As the cost of state services grew the amount of revenues failed to keep pace. Each year, CA had to borrow to make up resulting deficit. Finally, in 2010, the whole thing has caught up with CA and they are in deep "you know what". But, because CA is so intertwined with the rest of the USA, we are in there too.

    March 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  5. sheila

    Accountability: I see none of it in the parents behaviors. I am expected, as a tax paying citizen, to account for my money every year to the IRS. If they think I owe them, I have to pay or be threatened and harrassed by MY government. MY government can take everything away from me, yet GIVE to others who CLAIM innability to somehow pay their way through life.

    How does that happen? I have to account for my choices and decisions as an adult, but welfare recipients (illegal or otherwise) don't have to account for anything. How do you prove you have no means of support? Seems to me all a person seeking welfare has to do is SAY they have nothing, how does one prove that, or prove the innability to EVER be able to obtain anything to support their existence here on their own?

    Seems to me if you have a valid Social Security number, you can get a job, pay taxes and make every attempt to live a respectable life here in the US. No one gauranteed me that I would live a prosperous and happy life here, just the OPPORTUNITY to do so IF I MADE THE EFFORT.

    March 14, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  6. just some guy

    legal not legal who cares that is not the point. Dad drinks and mom is to LAZY to get a job. So they deserve nothing!!!! now if mom and dad had a job and couldnt make ends meet then by all means help them. there are many people out there who try and deserve help and do not get it. and you wanna cry because this poor kids (which i do feel bad for) parents are too stupid to either get a job or use thier money to do wierd things like help him instead of supporting daddys drinking problem. and 2 more things

    1. if your an illegal you need to be deported

    2. if you want to be in this country speak english. not make us have to learn yours because you are too stupid or lazy to learn ours

    March 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  7. Isabelle Greenberg

    we all have our own problems to solve. Carlos' father is a loser drunk. That's too bad really but it isn't my problem. I raised two sons but I'm not a drunk nor a gambler. I work...work...and work some more...that's how I make it.

    March 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  8. Sam

    The egregious acts by this family seem to come down to one issue regardless of the framing of the argument.

    Taxpayers don't want their money used to help Carlos and others like him. Some of the rhetoric says that he and his family should generate enough resources to take care of his problems on their own.

    We all use tax dollars differently. If people take the time to think about it, they have possibly used more tax dollars than Carlos or his family.

    Do you use:

    More public roads?
    More public library resources?
    More city, county or state parks?

    Considering what seems to be at the mos a moderate level of education for Carlos' parents, I can just about guarantee that anybody who attended a state university and/or received a Pell grant and/or government (tax) subsidized loans has sucked more out of the system than Carlos has.

    But then, of course, you will want to argue – ROI. That's when it gets lame and cheapens the value of your life made better through tax dollars versus Carlos' life made better through tax dollars.

    There is no quantitative argument for that level of self-absorbed banter.

    March 13, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  9. Sam

    The terrorists are a blip when it comes to radar on the enemy.

    From the tone of these comments about a child, our enemies have the greatest ally they could ever want as we continue to be at war...with ourselves.

    The demise of this nation began and continues as the idea of caring for those you may not know is somehow identified as a sign of weakness from both the caretaker and the cared for.

    March 13, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  10. Debby

    The cuts have been made due to lack of revenue. Help the private sector create jobs and the economy will shift up. When this happens the programs to help will be reinstated to help others.
    Government needs to place effort into jobs and leave 'health care 2018' aside. Private jobs gives health benefits,economic structure and revenue to the state,local and federal government this in turn helps programs to stay afloat to help others.

    March 13, 2010 at 5:41 am |
  11. fadeinlight

    Why no mention that Californians are paying the highest sales taxes of any state, and ranks amongst the highest in most everything else? Why not mention our huge deficit, and that the majority of growth in population is from births and "international immigration", while current residents outstrip people moving here from other states by 130,000+ people?

    This is propaganda, not news. Shame on you, CNN. Tell the whole story.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  12. just saying

    CNN asks:
    We look at the debate and ask how much is Carlos’ future worth to taxpayers?
    Maybe someone should , how much is Carlos' future worth to his parents?
    His mother feels entitled to stay home with her children and not work (wish I could do that!!!) instead of earning money to provide for Carlos' needs. His father feels entitled to spend money on himself - on alcohol - and fight with his wife when he's drinking instead of concentrating on being frugal and productive in order to meet his child's needs.
    Please ask the parents why they aren't doing more for Carlos instead of being unhappy that free care isn't provided at someone else's expense.
    If there's any racism here, maybe it's in the writer's slant. Would she be as sympathetic to a family whose last name was Hong - a clearly different ethnic base from her own? Just asking...

    March 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  13. just saying

    Tony, BOTH parents DON'T work.The mother does NOT work. Didn't you read the article?? And the whole article is about how the free clinic that the mother is taking Carlos to is overburdened. Did you miss this quote from the article:
    Carlos’ therapist, Elena Fernandez, says taxpayers will pay the price for Carlos and other youngsters like him, either now while he's is in treatment or later on if he doesn't get help.
    The reactions of taxpayers to this "forced payment" scenario has NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE. Readers AREN'T making assumptions about welfare based on ethnicity. We ARE reading the article, which is about a family with ONLY ONE PARENT WORKING who has CLEAR EXPECTATIONS of treatment that is paid for by taxpayers. Whether or not the father is a legal taxpayer is not disclosed. But regardless, the article makes it clear that he is NOT providing for his own child's care - and he IS "drinking" and "fighting" with his wife, per the article. Get off your high horse and look at the facts that are triggering the reaction. It's not what you think.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  14. texaslady2

    As I said, it is entirely reasonable to assume that Carlos' parents MAY BE here illegally: I didn't say that they ARE illegals. This could be answered quickly by the author of this article: are they or aren't they?

    Sorry, but I don't feel the same level of responsibility to assist illegal aliens, who have sneaked into my country to take advantage of the services that are intended for American citizens, as I do to help US citizens and LEGAL immigrants. California has no money in part because of the financial drain of providing services to illegal aliens and their families. The state is overrun with illegals and is nearly bankrupt in part because of them. This is an unsustainable situation. We either control our borders or get ready to join the Third World. Take your pick!

    March 12, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  15. Sagegrouse

    CNN should take care of Carlos. Or advertise for donations to help him.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  16. Tony

    You people are pathetic. Because it's a lower-class hispanic family in Southern California they are clearly illegal immigrants stealing your tax money. It doesn't specify if they're on welfare or not, but at least both parents are working, unlike plenty of 10th generation white American families all over this country. God Bless America and all of its racism and classism.

    March 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  17. just saying

    Think about it....if one mother goes to work instead of getting to stay home with her child and then her taxes are spent to help the child of a mother who stays home instead of working, then you are really telling the working mother that her child is of lesser importance. That working mother is away from her child all day AND her money is spent on someone else's child instead of her own. You're taking the working mother's money and giving it to the mother who doesn't work (in the form of child services paid for by the taxpayer - i.e., the mother who is working.) There's nothing wrong AT ALL with staying home with one's child, but make sure you've got the financial means to do so before you expect other working parents to pay for your child's services.
    My husband stayed at home with our infant son for six years while I worked. It wasn't easy for anyone but we have no regrets. It was very important for us to have a parent at home with a young child. But we certainly didn't expect anyone to give us anything free, including medical care, which I worked to pay for. And yes, we did sacrifice a lot to support a family with one income. And yes, I had a better job than being a street vendor. But I had enormous stress levels from an overly-demanding job that affected my health. I didn't go get drunk, either. Spending money on myself simply wasn't an option.

    March 11, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  18. just saying

    P.S. And how many working mothers out there would love to be a homemaker staying home with their young child or children?? We don't consider it an option if we must work to provide for our children...we aren't going to let our children go without necessities being met. Why does this woman get a luxury that other mothers don't get (stay home with child) and then gets media coverage about how unfair it is that her child's needs are not met? Get a job like the rest of us and go to work. It' s not fun and you miss out on a lot. But unless the two parents can figure out a way to meet the child's needs on a single income, do what the rest of us do...juggle and struggle.

    March 11, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  19. just saying

    Most vices cost money. Drinking costs money. No family should spend money on vices before taking care of their children. I do realize that the amount spent on alcohol by the father is unlikely to cover the cost of his son's needed treatment. But until every resource is dedicated to proper family care, don't ask me to help pay for it. Drunkeness is also a barrier to productivity, which no doubt hurts the father's ability to care for and provide for his son. Shame on him.

    March 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  20. CF2010

    I don't think it says anywhere in this article that Carlos or his parents are illegal immigrants. And even if they were, "illegal" people do pay taxes. The IRS came up with an identification number that allows them to take taxes from people with no social security number. So should low income American citizens who can not afford mental health care for a small child be considered a burden on society and be told they are better off somewhere else. It is mind boggling how ignorant people (especially conservatives and particularly some of the people posting comments here) are, so ignorant that they can not even read and accurately analyze a simple article online.

    March 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  21. kathy

    if illegal then i do not feel sorry. if legal then i feel deeply sorry.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  22. Kimberly Perry

    Due to something Mario Hernandez said, I would also like to add that we (US Americans as a whole) DO need to do something in regards to healthcare for kids. The only antipathy I feel towards this report is towards the parents because with a mentally ill child - or any other child - no adult has any business going out drinking and bringing that anger and frustration home where the child can sense it. I should know; I was raised around an alcoholic. However, saying that no one should help the child because he may be an immigrant or "anchor baby" is just plain selfish and stupid. Every child needs medical care. While I doubt we will achieve "universal" healthcare status, establishing something for the children would go far in assisting those who are poverty stricken or, in this case, left with little to no choice for medical assistance.

    March 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  23. linny

    For all of you who think that the "rich" and "super rich" should not pay more (via taxes) for other, mostly poor, people's benefit, you are WAY off base! The rich, the ones who benefit disproportionately from our system, should also bear a disproportionate level of responsibility for the outcomes. Think about the damage caused by Wall Street executives at all economic levels. How many innocent people lost their livelihoods because a bunch of self-entitled a**holes rigged the system (legally, I might add) so they could make billions, then just casually toss aside countless lesser folk as soon as the party ended. If you think for one minute that it's the poor people's fault for being poor, that they just don't work hard enough, think again! Do you really think you work harder than a dishwasher? Or a ditch digger? Do you really think that anyone who wants one can get a decent education, go to college, and get a cushy white-collar job? If you do you are living in a fantasy world. The system is specifically designed to create winners and losers, and it is disgusting that the winners claim the right to look down on the losers.

    By the way, the rich in Germany just voted to raise their own taxes to help out more. Not all rich are selfish!

    March 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  24. Scottish Mama

    No where in this article does it say this family is illegal.
    Working people get you thinking caps on.
    The wealthy get the most tax breaks.
    The lower the employer on the totum pole the less insurance he can afford to give his employees.
    This is a class war that involves the working class health.
    So if the wealthy don't want us to have healthcare we will demand it, thru our government.
    Healthcare in America is substandard and expensive.
    Insurance that is for profit only, becomes just that, for profit only.
    Health is not on the list.
    Bonuses could pay for healthcare, so boardrooms everywhere, think before you vote for bonuses, working people may get your jobs.

    March 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  25. texaslady2

    It may be considered "stereotyping" or "racist" by the ultra-liberals, but when the parents here can't speak English, and the father doesn't want his face shown on TV, it is not unreasonable to think that the parents may be illegal aliens. No wonder California has no money for Carlos: it is overrun with illegal aliens, and many of them have ailments that they brought with them. Are they really supposed to be our problem now, just because they chose to sneak across our border? I don't think so! If these people are illegal, they should be sent home. Maybe once they get home, their stress level will even out and Carlos's stress will too.

    No nation, no matter how rich it ONCE WAS, has the resources to provide for the ever-growing numbers of impoverished people in this overpopulated world. We can't do everything for everyone, and we can't afford to keep allowing the Third World to drop its excess population across our border. We need to take of our own poor, not the poor of the Third World, or we will eventually join the Third World.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  26. Mario Hernandez

    I have never heard such a lack of civility and the lack of support for a functioning society and its responsibilities.
    We are supposed to be number one in the world? Number one at bickering and denying others the basic requirements for a great nation: affordable health care, affordable housing and affordable education.
    We are all in the same boat and anyone can find themselves in the same situation that Carlos is in. Don't forget we are in a major financial recession.
    A civilized western democracy we call ourselves. Look around the planet, there are other more advanced socities that support and provide for the common good.
    I am ashamed that citizens of this country are so self absorbed with the I got mine and the boot to less fortunate. If this inhumanity continues there will be no great nation.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  27. Kimberly Perry

    While I am truly sorry about the problems Carlos face and his inability to receive help, I also feel that CNN could have found a better story. It has nothing to do with him may or may not being an illegal immigrant. However, he is an 8-year-old with severe anxiety and ADHD. Considering that the story mentioned his father being an alcoholic and being emotionally abusive, what do you expect? Get rid of the problem before saying there's viable, non-costly solution. After all, you wouldn't put a drug addict in a clinic with a suitcase full of crack would you?

    March 11, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  28. Claude Nickerson

    I have offered The State of California solutions to their water crisis with EPA, but no falls on death ears. I report the ONE BILLION embassy being built in London and states lkie NY, OHIO, and CALIF. should be frothing at the mouth, but no my state said it's not their department and that I should write to Feds. I did! NOTHING!!! I am sorry for carlos but my hands are tied! My great uncle invented the dial direct system on the telephone! My familly's old doctor Dr. Lakeoff invented Miracle Whipp. My grandfather made sow on contacts, the first contacts in U.S. with American Optical. I was working with my grandfather on using magnets to create energy. no investment capital Carlos and CNN. I have done all i can as one person! Please foregive me Carlos. I care man!

    March 11, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  29. bert

    First of all, who cares what it says on the statue of liberty. If you really knew anything about history you would know that it is a sonnet on a brass plaque on the pedestal. It is not our countries motto. Get over it. Just because people keep referring to it does not mean it is the principle that our country was founded on. We don't need anymore tired, poor, wretched refuse, homeless people seeking handouts in this country. We need people who want to come here and work hard to succeed and understand that we pay taxes for services for citizens.
    American Citizens are some of the most generous people in the world, as we give more than any other country when it comes to disasters or even charities. Citizens should not be charity cases.
    People who have children should pay their way. Why should I pay for raising children that you could not afford to feed, educate. Life isn't free, and people who come to this country for hand outs should go home. If you cannot afford to live here, you shouldn't have come. There are enough tax paying citizens who are having troubles, but can't get help because the money has gone to fund social welfare programs for illegals. Come on, we all know there are ways around the system and they do too. Quit lying to yourself and keep believing that they can't get services because they are illegal. If your not willing to pay your own way in life, then you are a waste of space.

    March 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  30. Enrique Gutiérrez

    Unfortunately, most "Americans" think LA is composed of only illegal immigrants. This is how ignorant Americans can get. They can't even couldn't at least thought that this family could have came from low-income. They cannot even understand en explaining them because hard-headed like JD. In my understanding, the only thought I could think from what they said, is that that's the only topic they know to blame with. It's not enough, and not worth it. Also, stupid. ...I could go on with this, but like I said, this won't lead nowhere. How foolish! I find it funny that they always seem to blame it on immigrants. It would be no surprise -for me- if somebody broke in a house, and these fools blamed "illegal" immigrants for this misdeed. Illegal this, illegal that ...

    March 10, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  31. PhiberOptik

    Where in the article does it say they are illegal? They are just poor, and least working, not on welfare.

    March 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  32. Jimmy

    You people keep on saying his family is illegal so he shouldn't be here anyway and that they are leeching off of American citizens. The article never mention his parents being illegal, but I'll play along. Let's say his parents are illegal, does that mean they don't contribute to our society that they do not inject $$ into our economy? Of course they do, they need shelter, food, clothes to live and they are going to buy it CA not in Mexico.

    Also, whatever happen to us being the unselfish the most charity giving nation? All those comments above made Americans very selfish. If you have health insurance you don't care that your neighbor doesnt, that it's his/her problem and not yours. If they go to the emergency room and get treated, who pays for their treatment? The gov't! We still pay regardless so might as well make the payment as small as possible. UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL!!!

    What rights are you giving up from universal healthcare? You can still choose your doctor. Are you saying Canada is a totalitarian country?

    BTW, I'm an American citizen, no illegal and have a full time job and I'm for UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL!!!

    March 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  33. returnreason

    Legal or illegal should not be the issue here.
    Sure, instead of working to develop community based useful institutions and programs for people like Carlos and his family, we can focus our attention on sending the illegals back to where they came from where they will have even less opportunities to do anything but have more babies who, because of limited opportunities, will probably try to crash developed countries borders with even larger numbers leading to more draconian solutions and excessive expenses.
    Sure send all the illegals back to where they came from and accept the fact that American legals want to be paid about double what illegals work for...if they will work at all in some of these jobs like stoop labor picking veggies and fruits. And, yes, the strapped middle class can expect to pay more for these products and services.
    Sure spend scarce public state and local funds on policing, processing, warehousing, and transporting illegals instead of on more critical public needs.
    And youngsters like Carlos? Cut them off from needed help from critical institutions so that they have to turn to the school of hard knocks and the street gangs to learn how to survive and to find a place where they are valued and accepted. And note that deported young men are some of the most violent criminals in their former homelands thanks to the amazing criminal educations available in big U.S. cities.

    Basicly we need more humane, well thought out and reasonable programs for working with and accepting needed workers from the stoop level to the phd level. Otherwise these problems won't go away and they are just going to get worse. And to remove one's self from the emotionally charged political debate and look at it from a MBA's cost benefit analysis basis, these problems are more costly to treat later on as noted in the article...whether it's criminal activity, mental health, unemployment-welfare or health care provided by the emergency rooms at our tax payer subsidized hospitals.
    Immigrants want to pay taxes and be part of the legitimate workforce, but instead of paying into ss and medicare, to which we desperately need more contributions, all too often they get paid under the table which exempts not only the workers but their employers (upstanding community businessmen) from making the payroll tax contributions businesses pay into these underfunded programs.
    And the problems won't diminish or go away with time as they are the continuing product of world wide population pressure problems that are not going to get any less insistent, particularly in less developed countries...in large part because of the head in the sand approach of many of the developed nations.

    March 10, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  34. Carlos

    I just want to start by saying that it seems that Americans are looking for their new black goat to blame their own problems on. Its kind of sad that Americans forget their past. I see a lot of blame on illegal immigrants, when a lot of American's parents or grand parents came through Ellis Island, where all an immigrant needed was a medical evaluation that was paid by the US before they came through as residents. I think all new Immigrants would love to get this standard back again.
    Most of this post are probably by ignorant people thinking that this health care issue is been caused by illegal immigrants and the "millions" the are here. Just think, do the Illegals create the policy insurance company have the tell Drs what is the max the they could charge for different procedures? Are the illegals the ones that make the "mistake" in the billing process that charges insurance companies excess charges? Are the illegals the one that make mistakes in surgeries? some of this mistakes force insurance companies to raise the cost of insurance policies. Do your research and you could see the actual problem in health care.
    I keep reading individuals blaming illegals for different issues in this country e.g. the economy, health care, crime, drugs etc. America its time to wake up and look at yourself in the mirror and start putting the blame on yourself. Americans were the ones that bought house at prices they couldn't afford. Americans keep suing health care professionals for BS claims. for crimes and drugs, lets discuss this concept of supply and demand, There is such a high demand illegal drugs in this country which brings all the baggage with it, crime, incarcerations etc...
    My final points are that Americans need to stop blaming their problems on others and look at themselves. Americans also collect welfare, this includes white Americans. This story was about health care and some of the issues that some individuals in this country are having hard time obtaining medical assistance, therefore there should be some type of reform.
    I read in some of this post the immigrants should stop having this kids in the US so they could take advantage of the system. Some of this kids are that ones that going to keep you SS checks coming in the future, have any of this anti-immigrants have wonder that this kids of illegal immigrants might be the ones the will pay for their SS checks.
    Just an FYI for individuals that might have an issue with my name Carlos. I am a Latino, I have my US citizen, I have an education higher than most Americans (MBA), working towards my doctorates and have been working and contributing to this country since i was allowed to work (16 years old). I was born in another and have my US citizens.

    March 10, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  35. Brandon

    Hmm... it appears that Elisabeth is a product of the failing California public school system. So you think that because Mexico took California from Spain (who first claimed it) 150 years ago, that Mexicans should be allowed to run rampant without any regard for modern-day US law?

    If you're so worried about the immigrant and/or illegal children, go donate a considerable portion of your income to help them – or adopt one. But don't force their care and feeding and cost of psychological care down the throat of the American taxpayer.

    March 10, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  36. francnnam

    For those asking for links to make a difference in your community, please visit IMPACT YOUR WORLD (http://www.cnn.com/impact) for charitable organizations that CNN has vetted as legitimate non-profits.

    CNN's American Morning thanks you for your feedback.

    March 10, 2010 at 8:40 am |
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