Sunday, August 9, 2009

Illegals Cost 11 Billion A Year In Healthcare

"The cost of providing illegal aliens with medical care amounts to nearly $11 billion a year — and that expense is not expected to go away if a healthcare insurance reform bill is passed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN's John King recently that illegal immigrants would not be covered under the reform being pushed by Democrats.

King asked, "And so what happens to a public hospital if they walk into the emergency room?"Pelosi responded: "I do know that the law requires that if somebody comes in off the street and needs care, that is extended.

"What we see in this legislation is that people will have access to affordable healthcare, and it will diminish the number of people going into those private, public hospitals in the manner in which you described.

"That statement makes little sense in light of Pelosi's assertion that illegals would not be covered, since in that case they would not be any less likely to seek care in an emergency room.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform's Director of Special Projects Jack Martin told that illegal immigrants cost federal and state governments an estimated $10.7 billion a year in healthcare spending, including the cost of so-called "anchor babies" — children born to illegal immigrant parents in U.S. hospitals.

Those babies are technically U.S. citizens, but Martin pointed out that taxpayers would never have had to pay their mothers' medical bills if they had not entered the U.S. illegally.

Each anchor baby costs taxpayers about $10,000 on average, according to Martin, and these costs are paid through Medicaid.

The cost of emergency room care for adults is borne primarily by the states. Martin calculated that states pay a total of nearly $7 billion a year on healthcare for their illegal immigrants.

A study by the Center for Immigration Studies came up with a similar figure.President Barack Obama, as well as Pelosi, has said illegal aliens won't be covered by a healthcare reform plan.

But on July 17, Democrats successfully defeated a Republican-backed amendment, offered by Rep. Dean Heller of Nevada, that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving government-subsidized healthcare under the proposed plan backed by House Democrats and Obama.

The House Ways and Means Committee nixed the Heller amendment by a 26-to-15 vote along straight party lines."

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