Q&A Friday #53: Should Emergency Rooms Require ID Before Administering Treatment?

Question: “With unpaid medical bills (at least a quater of which are coming from illegals) driving the cost of treatment ever higher and pushing the US towards socialized medicine (an enormous mistake IMO) my question is: Shouldn’t hospital emergency rooms require some form of legal identification before administering services?” — Good_Ol_Boy

Answer: I’m of the opinion that it would be immoral to deny someone emergency medical services, regardless of their legal status. However, I don’t believe hospitals should provide long-term care to illegals.

In other words, break your leg and head to the hospital, then you get treated whether you’re legal or illegal. On the other hand, if you’ll need regular long-term treatment and you’re not here legally, you should either have to pay for it or go home. It’s not our job to provide free health care service to the world and I don’t think Americans should have to spend more for health care because some illegal with tuberculosis or AIDS snuck into the United States and can’t pay for his treatment.

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