FACT CHECK: US Does Not Give Free Healthcare And Organ Donations To Israelis

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims the United States gives free healthcare and organ donations.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence all Israelis get free healthcare and priority organ donations in the U.S., according to experts and media outlets.

Fact Check:

Social media users are sharing claims that Israelis get free healthcare and priority for organ donations in the U.S. One user wrote, “Israelis apparently get free healthcare in the U.S. and receive organs ahead of Americans??”

These claims appear to lack evidence. If Israelis were able to get free healthcare in the U.S. for being a citizen of Israel, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Israeli citizens and permanent residents have universal healthcare coverage, according to International Trade Association.

Experts told outlets that the claim appears to be unfounded. VERIFY reported that “Wendy Parmat, the faculty director at Northeastern University’s Center for Health Policy and Law, told VERIFY she doesn’t know of any federal program that provides free healthcare for Israeli citizens, as the viral posts allege.”

“Speaking broadly, foreigners coming temporarily to the United States from any country and even immigrants who have lived in the US for several years would have very limited access to free health care — and this would chiefly be emergency care if they were unable to pay for it in an acute situation,” Michelle Mittelstadt, director of communications at the nonprofit Migration Policy Institute, told AFP Fact Check.

Foreigners visiting the U.S. for medical reasons usually need to pay for treatment. For example, the National Institutes for Health (NIH) says that people who come to the U.S. for clinical research through the NIH “must also provide documentation that they have sufficient funds to cover expenses for their visit and departure from the U.S.”

“Temporary visa holders as well as most immigrants with green cards who have less than five years of US residence (there are exceptions for children and pregnant women) are ineligible for federal public health care programs,” Mittelstadt said.

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) says on its website that patients from other countries can receive organ transplants, but “international patients receive organs based on the same policies as U.S. citizens.” VERIFY reported that UNOS said 30 Israelis received organ transplants out of 46,360 in 2023.

There are several agreements between Israel and the U.S. on subjects such as agriculture and security, according to the Jewish Virtual Library. None of these agreements, though, are centered around free healthcare or priority donations for Israelis.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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