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September 12, 2010

Illegal immigrants putting hospitals in costly care dilemma

Topics: Immigration and Border Issues, Political News and commentaries

From, a story on a problem that's repeating itself over and over all across the country, and the Obama administration is only making it worse through their back-door amnesty and refusal to deport people in this country illegally.

Immigrants put hospitals in costly care dilemma
By Franco Ordonez - McClatchy Newspapers (emphasis added):

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More than two dozen medical staples hold together the left side of Orlen Rosales' head after he was struck by a train on July 4, his family says.

Few thought the 26-year-old Honduran would survive, but doctors and nurses at Carolinas Medical Center have worked nonstop to save him.

After weeks close to death, he's now up and talking.

But the bills for his treatment have far exceeded what the family can pay. The first day of his care cost more than $15,000, the family says. Another bill was more than $30,000.

Rosales doesn't have insurance. In fact, he's not even in the country legally. He was deported in 2008 after a drunken-driving arrest. And he's not eligible for Medicaid beyond emergency care.

"Yes, he doesn't have papers, but he's a human being," says Oneyda Lopez, Rosales' cousin.

His case reflects another challenge arising from the nation's troubled immigration system.

Roughly 11 million illegal immigrants live in the United States, including 350,000 in North Carolina and 70,000 in South Carolina. Many are uninsured.

Hospitals are confronting a dilemma they didn't create. They've been hit with mounting unpaid medical bills from seriously injured illegal immigrants. Some have looked to send these patients home for more care because they can't find long-term facilities in the U.S. to accept them without insurance.

[...] The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 59 percent of illegal immigrants are uninsured. That's about 15 percent of the nation's 47 million uninsured people.

Illegal immigrants are not eligible for Medicare, the federal insurance program for people 65 and older. They can get emergency care through Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and disabled. Anything beyond emergency care isn't covered. The new health care law specifically excludes illegal immigrants.

Some argue that hospitals are in this position now because the government has failed to properly enforce immigration laws.

Read more ...

Do readers need to be reminded who's paying for all this medical care through their taxes and higher medical costs of their own? To put it succinctly - the cost to taxpayers is staggering.

Posted by Richard at September 12, 2010 12:19 PM

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