A New York Times story on this case was headlined Immigrants Facing Deportation by U.S. Hospitals August 3, 2008, although ”Hospitals Facing Bankruptcy Due To Uninsured Illegals” might be a better way of putting it.
The underlying story was the devastating testimony by Carol Plato of Florida’s Martin Memorial Medical Center on the shattering costs falling on the hospital because it is forced to treat illegal immigrants.
A far more honest treatment is ABOUT $2 MILLION A MONTH: More illegal immigrants getting emergency treatment at UMC By Paul Harasim Las Vegas Review-Journal Jan. 25 2010
This is a reappraisal of an equally fine story Harasim did last year STATE OF EMERGENCY:: Illegal immigrants burden UMC Hospital not reimbursed for illegal immigrants' dialysis treatments LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL Aug. 16, 2009 - which I discussed here (second item).
What has changed since the first story?
First, the situation has got worse
There are now four more of them regularly making their way to the emergency room at University Medical Center. And doctors say the illegal immigrants coming in for dialysis treatment at University Medical Center are sicker than they were before, making their care even more expensive.
Six months after the Review-Journal revealed that 80 illegal immigrants with failing kidneys were running up about $2 million a month in bills for dialysis and other medical treatment at the only publicly supported hospital in Las Vegas, the situation for both patients and taxpayers only continues to worsen…
With ...monthly visits jumping from 216 in August to 243 currently — the billed charges for the 84 illegal immigrants are now at about $2.4 million a month — or $28 million a year.
In August, Jon Summers, a spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the senator promised to find more funding to aid hospitals that help the indigent. None has been forthcoming to UMC and Summers said recently that Reid now believes only health care reform and immigration reform can address UMC's dilemma.
"...this is about more than just access to care or the cost, it's an immigration issue that must be addressed. That is why we need comprehensive immigration reform that includes a humanitarian provision where we can repatriate patients to their country of origin with the guarantee that care will continue once they are home."
(Vdare.com emphasis. Such a requirement, of course, deviously precludes these freeloaders ever being deported.)
Message from these Democrats to Nevada taxpayers: Obey Obama. Shut up. We care about illegals, not you.
Of course, the Feds are equally useless (and arrogant) too:
…although this is a topic that has received press attention across the country, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have not taken action. "ICE arrests are prioritized, based on specific leads, evidence and information, and are made at the appropriate time and place," ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley wrote from her California office.
Asked if ICE would ever deem the abuse of emergency rooms by illegal immigrants as significant enough for her agency to make arrests, Haley read the statement she had e-mailed.
Of course, these bureaucrats have got the message.
Hopefully, so will Nevada’s voters.
Congratulate Paul Harasim on incisive reporting.
H/T One Old Vet