Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742

Nicholas Florko, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch
w. (202) 454-5108

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog

Follow us on Twitter


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Study Highlights a National Disgrace: Immigrants Pay Far More Into Medicare Trust Fund Than They Use But One in Three Is Uninsured

Statement of Sidney M. Wolfe, MD, Director, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group

Note: A Harvard University/City University of New York Health Affairs study published today shows that immigrants contributed about $115.2 billion more to the Medicare Trust Fund than they took out between 2002 and 2009.

It’s astounding enough that, according to today’s excellent new study, immigrants generated surplus contributions to Medicare’s Trust Fund of $115 billion between 2002 and 2009. But it is appalling that a third of all immigrants were uninsured in 2010. These are the same people contributing a surplus of well over $10 billion a year to Medicare for medical care. For them not to be insured is a disgrace. Even worse is the fact that non-citizen immigrants, contributing $10.1 billion (or 73 percent) of the total $13.8 billion immigrant Medicare surplus in 2009, were even more likely to lack health insurance – true for 44.2 percent of them.* We heartily endorse the authors’ conclusion that all people have a human right to health care. Tragically, health care coverage is far from universal in the United States.

*CPS data not in the paper.Non-citizen immigrants (of all ages) had an uninsured rate of 44.2 percent. For citizen immigrants of all ages, the percentage of uninsured was 19.1 percent.

NOTE: To get a copy of the study, contact Steffie Woolhandler at (617) 312-2766, or David Himmelstein at (617) 312-0970.

Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.