Immigrants have contributed billions of dollars that help cover the growing cost of Medicare and Social Security, a pattern that contradicts the idea that immigrants are a drain on federal health care spending, The New York Times reports. According to a study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School, immigrants generated surpluses for Medicare totaling $115 billion from 2002 to 2009. The U.S.-born population, on the other hand, incurred a deficit of $28 billion over the same period. In addition, immigrants generated a surplus for Social Security amounting to $12 billion in 2010. Researchers assert that as baby boomers, the largest generation in the United States, approach retirement, the financial help from immigrants is needed now more than ever.

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