Would more migrants come here if they could get free health care without documentation?

No one seems to have envisioned a program that would allow for medical tourism. Some independent experts have suggested a residency requirement before people can apply for Medicaid, to prevent the appearance of health care as an immigration incentive.

Randy Capps, a senior researcher at the Migration Policy Institute, said: “They are driven primarily by work opportunities and, more recently, dire climate, economic and security conditions. Health coverage is unlikely to change the equation given these much bigger migration push and pull factors.”

But Linda J. Blumberg, a health policy fellow at the Urban Institute, argued that a single- payer system, such as the one proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, could indeed create “strong incentives for people with serious health problems to enter the country or remain longer than their visas allow in order to get government-funded care.”