America Can’t Afford To Be The Health Care Provider For The World

We are in the middle of a recession and Americans are hurting. People are losing their jobs, they’re struggling to pay bills, and we’re having a huge debate about health care, much of which is being driven by the cost of care. Meanwhile, we’re spending exorbitant sums on the health care of illegal aliens:

Last weekend, the Review-Journal reported that cash-strapped (University Medical Center) is providing more than $20 million a year in emergency dialysis care for uninsured, illegal immigrants.

This week, when Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center announced the layoff of 100 workers, it became apparent that care for the uninsured also affects for-profit health care institutions.

According to spokesman Dan Davidson, Sunrise provided $110 million in uncompensated care in 2008, including nearly $1 million in emergency dialysis care for illegal immigrants for January through July this year. Davidson said that is part of the reason layoffs occurred.

Under federal law, anyone who shows up at an emergency room requesting an examination or treatment for a medical condition must be given an appropriate medical screening to determine whether there is an emergency. If there is, treatment must be provided regardless of a patient’s ability to pay or their citizenship.

Officials at UMC, which provided $160 million in uncompensated care in 2008, and Sunrise said they don’t know how much of their total uncompensated care for the uninsured goes to illegal immigrants. Under federal law, hospital staff cannot directly ask patients whether they are in the country illegally.

U.S. citizens with end stage renal disease automatically qualify for Medicare to cover dialysis costs. Illegal immigrants are not eligible for Medicare. As a result, patients who have neither insurance nor Medicare to pay for dialysis are almost exclusively illegal immigrants, a distinction that allows hospital officials to estimate costs for their care.

One of the reasons illegal aliens can work for such low wages is because they don’t bother to buy health care. What that means is that when they get sick, the hospital has to eat the costs, which they then pass on to everyone else.

Why should all of us pay more for medical care so that scumbag business owners who knowingly hire illegals can profit from paying below market wages? These crooks are fattening their pockets while you’re paying more for health care.

Additionally, the idea that we should be paying for something like the dialysis costs of illegal aliens is absolutely insane. We have no more moral obligation to pay the bills of an illegal than we do to pay the dialysis costs of someone living in rural China.

Yes, we should provide emergency treatment, whether a person has the money to pay for it or not, whether they are a citizen or not, but that’s it. If you can’t prove your citizenship, you should either have to pay for medical care up front, provide working insurance, or head back to your home country to get treatment.

That goes for our current system and it goes for the health care bill winding its way through Congress. Oh, they claim Obamacare won’t cover illegals, but the enforcement requirements are so loose that it does. If you’re an illegal alien who’s asked for a Social Security number and you give them 123-45-6789, guess what? You’re covered. It doesn’t matter whether illegals are, by the letter of law, prevented from getting care if there is no real enforcement method.

Illegal aliens are certainly not the only reason health care is so expensive in this country, but they are a significant contributing factor and we need to start putting Americans first, limit the access of illegals to health care, and help reduce our health care costs.

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