But that kind thinking is not only inhumane, it’s extraordinarily shortsighted. For one thing, there are an estimated 11 million undocumented people in the United States, or roughly 3.3 percent of the population. They aren’t going away. Ignoring their health needs isn’t just harmful to those men, women and children, but, as the recent measles outbreak demonstrated, keeping them out of doctors’ offices can have adverse consequences for all of us. Hospitals treat emergency patients regardless of income or residency status (or ability to pay), so that’s a given. The real question facing society is whether to provide preventative or even palliative care like vaccinations, checkups, cancer screening, medical prescriptions and so on. The question isn’t just can Americans afford to underwrite health care, it’s also: Can they afford not to?