Health Cost Study Likely to Disregard Immigrant Impact
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February 05, 2003

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A Journalist Reader Outs UPI's Gregory Tejeda

From:  Frederick Fowler

Subject: Phony Study on Use of Emergency Care Coming

Recently I received the first issue in 2003 of Brandeis Review—the President's Report Issue. This magazine is sent to me because I am a graduate of Brandeis University (having received a Master's degree in physics) and, in a moment of weakness, I once ordered their directory of graduates. On page seven of this issue, there is a short news article about a grant that has been awarded to Brandeis's Schneider Institute for Health Policy, which is part of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. The purpose of the grant is to fund a study on the demand for emergency room care in California hospitals. The grant has been awarded by the California HealthCare Foundation, and, in partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation on Health Care, Blue Shield of California, and Blue Cross of California, the Schneider Institute will "study emergency department (ED) use and the impact on patient care and health care costs."

This sounds like a dull but useful bit of research, until one reads the title of the study: "Utilization of Hospital Emergency Departments by Insured Populations." The article goes on to say that the study will use a database of insured persons in California to examine the use of emergency care, and that "A key objective of the study is to gain a better understanding of the reasons that ED use began to increase in the late 1990s . . . The study will examine increased cost due to substitution of ED care for office-based medical care".

It is obvious from this article that the study will completely ignore the real reason for the greatly increased use of emergency room care in California. Anyone who has been reading Chronicles Magazine over the past 6 years, or who has kept himself informed about immigration through the Internet, knows that the huge increase in the use of emergency room care has been caused by uninsured illegal aliens, most of whom are from Mexico. Anyone who has to go to the emergency department of a hospital in any big city in practically any state knows that this is the case; emergency rooms are flooded with illegals who are there to get routine care. The hospitals are forced—by government—to treat them without being able to charge them, and the costs are being passed on to Americans who have health insurance.

What I would like to know is whether the people who will be carrying out the study know this. Are they truly ignorant? Or are they taking part in an attempt at hiding the true cause of the increased hospital costs? My guess would be the latter, since it is almost impossible for anyone to be ignorant in this matter if he bothers to look into it. In fact, I would bet that this study will be used in the future as "proof" that illegal aliens are not causing the huge increase in hospital costs, and that Americans run to the emergency room too often instead of waiting and going to their doctors' offices.

You might want to keep an eye out for this "research". It will be very interesting to see just exactly how the authors hide the real state of affairs.

Frederick Fowler

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