Health insurance should require speaking English

Letter date: 
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Letter publisher:
Letter author: 
Peter M. Appleton
Letter body: 

Two articles appeared in the March 5 issue of the Statesman Journal — one dealing with a situation in Oregon and another with a situation in California — yet both articles dealt with the same subject, namely how health insurance authorities related to people who speak languages different than English.

My question is, why relate to such people at all? Why not let people know that they have to speak English in order to get health insurance? Here I thought that we were an English-speaking country.

Clearly all of the (viable anyway) schemes being talked about in Washington, D.C., to provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants contemplate that those people will have to learn English in order to qualify.

Is there any doubt that a person who walked into a DMV in Mexico City and asked to take the test in English would be laughed out of the place? Yet here we bend over backwards to accommodate people who choose not to speak English.

If it is good enough for Washington, D.C. politicians, it should be good enough for us. I just don’t get it.

Peter M. Appleton