2005 August 10 Wednesday
On The Costs Of Illegal Aliens

An Arizona news report on illegal immigrant medical costs probably underestimates the real medical costs from illegals.

Under a new federal program, $1 billion over four years will be allocated to reimburse hospitals nationwide, plus certain physicians and ambulance providers for emergency services provided to illegal immigrants, according to Walz.

He estimated that Yuma will receive about half of what the hospital pays each year for uncompensated illegal immigrant health care, a projection he based on Arizona's allocated portion of the funds.

The estimated annual cost to hospitals and other providers of emergency health care nationwide for illegal aliens — mandated but not funded by the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) — is $1.45 billion, according to congressionally commissioned research from the MTG Corporation.

The $1 billion over 4 years amounts to $250 million per year. So that is only one sixth of what the hospitals pay for uncompensated care for illegals. But that $1.45 billion per year cost seems awfully low. Note the native born children of illegals get many of their costs paid by local, state, and national governments. Also, some of the illegals manage to fraudulently qualify for Medicaid.

Arizona's Yuma county, in which one third of babies are born to illegal aliens, has a hospital that claims it provides $2 million in care to illegals. But what is the cost of delivering all those babies?

Walz's estimate comes after news that nearly one in three babies born in Yuma County Arizona in 2002 were born to illegal immigrant mothers, according to a recent report by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank that pushes for anti-immigration policy. The rate is the highest in all of Arizona and among the highest in the country.

With weak verification of citizenship for Medicaid applicants my guess is that a lot of these babies are getting paid for under Medicaid.

Illegals are 43% of all medically uninsured. Many have legal children who are also uninsured. Also, some of those illegals and children who are insured are insured under government subsidized programs. So the money doesn't show up as uncompensated care. in heavily Hispanic Texas 24% of the population is medically uninsured while in heavily white Minnesota only 8% of the population is uninsured.

California spends nearly $8 billion per year educating illegals and children of illegals with $3.2 billion for illegal students and $4.5 for legals born to illegals. Note the proportion. A similar proportion probably holds for the medically uninsured. Also, nationally the educational costs for illegals and their children is over $28 billion. Also, in California native pay over 3 times as much in taxes per person per year as Mexican immigrants.

Florida spends at least $4.3 billion on illegals.

Analysis of the latest Census data indicates Florida’s illegal immigrant population is costing the state’s taxpayers $4.3 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. Even if the estimated taxes collected from illegal immigrant workers are subtracted, net outlays still amount to more than $3.3 billion per year. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $575 per Florida household headed by a native-born resident.

Those costs do not include local jail costs, law enforcement activities to catch illegals who commit additional crimes, or the costs to victims of crimes committed by illegals, or security costs expended due to higher risk of crime from higher crime rate immigrant groups. Costs of welfare and education for the children of illegals are not included. Also, higher costs of teaching English to their kids are not included nor are the costs of white flight from neighborhoods that become heavily Hispanic.

Aging Mexican illegals in the United States are seen as a growing economic problem. (same article here and here)

While much of the attention remains on the persistent inflow of illegal workers, a new question is beginning to worry some analysts and policy makers on both sides of the border: What will happen when the 10 million Mexicans living in the United States become too old to work? Will they retire in the United States or will they return to Mexico?

The number of old illegals in the United States growing very rapidly.

In 2003, an estimated 710,000 Mexicans over 60 lived in the United States, 63 percent more than a decade earlier, the National Population Council of Mexico concluded, based on Census Bureau figures.

You can bet that growth rate is going to continue. When they get old and sick they will show up at hospital emergency rooms seeking treatment. The law requires the hospitals to pay. Therefore American citizens will pay.

Cheap labor is subsidized labor. Our immigration policy is increasing the size of the recipient class who are net drains on everyone else. People who can not provide for their own retirement end up getting paid for by taxpayers one way or another. One out of every 12 dolllars spend on medical insurance pays for medical care of the uninsured. So the tax system is just one of the ways we pay for medical care for poor illegals and poor legal immigrants as well.

Keep all the above in mind next time you hear George W. Bush arguing for his harmful Mexican worker permit program.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 August 10 11:13 PM  Immigration Economics

John S Bolton said at August 11, 2005 12:44 AM:

This special tolerance must come from malice against the net taxpayer. If not, how can it be that illegals have rights that citizens don't have, to use medical facilities without valid ID? The cost of diabetes treatment for illegals would amortize the cost of a border defense that was complete. These costs go up every year, and each year's multibillion dollar increment in subsidies to foreigners here, will increase their hostility towards the citizen. It is tribute to weakness and hostility, guaranteed to appease and draw out more hostility and weakness from the same populations. The one way to win a lasting hatred from them is to save their lives. They can't feel good about themselves for living out of the net taxpayer's handout, so they have to hate him and want him destroyed. The implication that their genes are inferior, when one such differentiable group lives at the largesse of another, intensifies the hatred. How are they to believe that they have the bad blood, when government schools tell them that they are exploited; that the rich do not earn but steal. This is how officials and their scholars work towards civil war, and their best chance to smash the rich.

Engineer-Poet said at August 11, 2005 6:18 AM:

Randall, you mean "Illegals are 43% of all medically UNinsured."

Allan said at December 7, 2006 3:17 PM:

Quite frankly, I support the following regarding immigration:

1. YES: Construct the Wall. There has been a wall along parts of the frontier with Mexico in Arizona and California for years.
Why all the Fuss

2. YES: Develop a guest worker program

3. YES: All applications should be completed in the for work permits in the United States need to be completed in Country of birth

4. NO!, NO!, NO!: In other words DO NOT! give illegal aliens a citizenship reqard for coming here illegally. We as American citizens are obliged to follow the rules, so special compensation should not be given to those who do.

5. SUPPLY AND DEMAND: Jobs in landscaping, construction, agriculture, etc. will not disappear. Fair wages for these jobs will probably increase, but legal workers would fill them.

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