2003 December 21 Sunday
Big Medicare Bill Has $1 Billion For Illegal Alien Medical Care

The big multi-billion dollar Medicare bill for retiree prescription drug benefits also includes a big chunk of money for illegal alien immigrant medical treatments.

A study by the U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition, an American lobbying group, last year found that U.S. border hospitals provide at least $200 million a year in uncompensated emergency care to illegal immigrants, $74 million of that in Texas.

When approving the Medicare bill last month, Congress allocated $1 billion to help border hospitals cover those costs. President Bush is expected to sign the bill Monday.

Of course most illegal aliens move further into the United States and so the costs for the border hospitals is a small fraction of the total illegal alien medical costs that taxpayers have to pay for.

Federal spending for illegal alien medical care has been increased by $250 million per year.

Texas also stands to benefit from a provision that grants $1 billion $250 million annually over four years to reimburse hospitals for uncompensated emergency care provided to undocumented immigrants. Texas hospitals probably would receive $43 million to $50 million per year, Mr. Knaupe said.

That $1 billion could be more usefully spent building a barrier on the US-Mexican border to keep out illegal aliens. The cost of such a barrier would be much less than the yearly medical costs for illegal aliens. See my previous post: One Year Of Illegal Alien Health Care Costs Would Pay For Border Barrier.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 December 21 01:09 PM  Immigration Economics


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