Illegal Immigration Costs To Hospitals

This video has been around for a while but I missed it (until now).  It is an interesting look into part of the problem “Testimony of illegal alien care from 1 Florida hospital”):

On a personal note, a while back I had a bill from a hospital and noticed that some of the costs had increased  faster than inflation (compared to the same procedure which also had more complications about two years prior).  I called the provider to discuss the bill.  They said that costs related to uninsured who don’t pay the bills, particularly emergency room visits, necessitated the increase.  The representative was honest and to the point.  I asked where the largest uninsured costs come from (specifying she need not answer if she didn’t feel comfortable doing so).  She unhesitatingly stated illegal immigrants are the dominant driver.

So the next time you are charged $50 for a sippy cup by the hospital, don’t get too upset.  To keep ERs and other facilities open, the money must be made up somewhere.  Also, keep in mind that this post doesn’t take into account the massive costs of legal fees and insurance hospitals and individual providers must maintain (don’t get hung up on one cost factor when thinking of costs).

EDIT: Original video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLJxmJZXgNI) no longer available. Updated video link.

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4 thoughts on “Illegal Immigration Costs To Hospitals

  1. So in the “cost to hospitals” money is irrelevant? If you’re talking about fixing health care, the problem isn’t that people are illegal and running up hospital costs, the problem is that people — whether they are legal or not — cannot afford to pay their hospital fees as they should and they are driving up costs.

    Sure, if we wanted to kick every illegal immigrant out of the country, then that might help lower costs, or if we just fixed many other aspects of health care, then that would also lower costs and make insurance and care available to just about anybody who wants it, whether they are illegal or not.

  2. Your comment indicated (to me) that the only reason I cared is because they couldn’t or didn’t pay. That was not the primary case.

    I favor the all of the above (on market-based principles) approach. In addition, illegal immigrants also pose a significant risk to legal citizens/immigrants medical records due to the use of stolen SSNs and identities (see here, also, this has a bit of information on it, but I believe there was a more focused article on CIS, I will have to find again, when I have time). On a personal note, regarding that, I have a child with a chronic illness and drug allergies. If their medical record is corrupted and they are administered the wrong drug in an emergency situation, they are either going to suffer terribly or die.

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