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Nine ER's Closed In 5 Years In LA; Unpaid Care Costs Of $1.6 Billion A Year - A Case Study In Stupidity

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Immigration is killing California's health care system and in Los Angeles County alone uncompensated care costs are $1.6 billion per year. How are these costs being incurred? By illegal aliens using the emergency room as their primary care facility. It is well known in the illegal alien community that an Emergency Room cannot turn you away by law and that they also cannot ask for your immigration status. Therefore, unlike most Americans who use an Emergency Room for what they are for - emergencies, these people waltz in and wait to be treated for free.

Not only is this costing Emergency Rooms and hospitals money, but the congestion in the Emergency Rooms is causing unnecessary, and potentially deadly, wait times for the citizens and legal residents of this country.

So what is the solution to this problem?

You would think that first you would implement screenings for legal status so that those using this system would be arrested and deported once treated, but you'd think wrong. In California they have decided that they'd rather pass the costs onto taxpayers and waste even more of taxpayers monies on these illegal aliens by opening free taxpayer funded primary care clinics.

The story below shows a perfect example of this, with an illegal alien running up an estimated $37,500 in the first 4 months of 2006 for routine medical care that the normal American would have to pay for themselves. Now where are those activists claiming that illegal aliens are putting more into the system than they take out?

It's almost like they want these illegal aliens to stay here (that's sarcasm)...

LA Times

Mauricio Hernandez's belly was swollen like a pregnant woman's. ... Every month for four years, he'd been going to the emergency room at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to have his abdomen drained of fluid, the result of cirrhosis caused by years of heavy drinking.

It wasn't exactly an emergency, but the ER was his only medical care. An illegal Mexican immigrant, Hernandez had learned that emergency rooms legally cannot turn away patients without examining and stabilizing them. He had stopped drinking, he said. But his job unloading big rigs paid little and offered no health insurance.

At each ER visit, he waited from five to 10 hours, received immediate treatment and left with no long-term plan for follow-up care. So his condition worsened, making more ER visits necessary.

Hospital officials estimate that in the first four months of 2006 alone, Hernandez's ER visits and hospitalizations cost taxpayers $37,500.

So let's see, 4 months at $37,500 each times 3 makes $112,500 per year, times 4 years is $450,000. Sounds like a good compromise so that we can have an illegal alien who unloads big rigs for little pay and therefore probably pays nothing in taxes.

... in Los Angeles County, many are immigrants, legal and illegal. Collectively, they have strained the more than 70 emergency rooms in the county to the breaking point, helping to boost uncompensated care costs to $1.6 billion annually.

Now let's remember this is just the costs for "emergency care" in Los Angeles county and doesn't include those who go to the hospital, stay there and then don't pay. This isn't even including the costs of education and other services illegal aliens and their children are using in the county.

The Hispanic community has become so accustomed to using the ER they made up a name for it: "Madre del cielo": Mother from heaven. "Illnesses" they go to the Emergency Room for include hypertension, migraine headaches, the flu, colds, insulin refills and prescriptions. County-USC's ER sees 175,000 patients a year, number 2 in the nation, and they have over the years cut beds from 1,400 10 years ago to only 600 beds next year.

It's being driven out of business. Too bad for the legal people of the community who actually have an emergency and insurance.

So what's the solution they came up with? Pete Delgado, the CEO of County-USC, teamed up with COPE (Community Outreach for Prevention and Education) to open some "reeducation programs"

Each of the 100 selected patients was assigned a private community clinic and a health coach. The clinic's job was to attend to the patients' needs, at taxpayers' expense, whenever they showed up. The coaches' job was to — in some cases literally — take patients by the hand and teach them about clinics.

Let me sum up how the program works.

Through this program Hernandez was assigned a taxpayer funded "wet nurse" who assigned him, Clinica Oscar Romero, the clinic across the street and then went with him to his first appointment there. He then went with Hernandez to his appointment at a liver specialist at another clinic he had been referred to. Since Hernandez doesn't read or write, this guy had to do it for him. Hernandez wanted to quit the program because he was pissed he had to wait in line at the clinic and he wanted to go back to the ER. Remember now, Hernandez isn't paying a dime here.

You really have to go read this article in the LA Times it's simply hilarious. While the author points out that it is an extreme expense for just one patient, he ends the story on a happy note.

By now, Hernandez has stopped going to the ER.

His stomach is slowly becoming smaller. A specialist has determined that he doesn't need a transplant.

Hernandez goes to the clinic so often that he's learned the names of nurses and clerks and takes them tamales. He visited six times in the three weeks before Christmas.

The cost of his care over the last seven months has been cut almost in half, to $19,500, COPE officials estimate.

Every so often, Hernandez will jokingly threaten to go back to the county's emergency room.

Yes, a happy note for this illegal alien, but not so much for the taxpayers who are footing the bill. So now he'll only cost taxpayers and businesses nearly $40,000 per year in clinical care costs. I bet they're thrilled.

COPE is so happy with the program that they're going to expand it ten-fold now.

The only silver lining I see to all of this is that in the end Hernandez didn't need a liver transplant, thus denying it from a legal resident or citizen of this country who needed it. Good thing we can continue to have this big rig unloader freeload off our society.

This isn't "solving a problem" this is enabling and encouraging illegal aliens to continue to come and all at the expense of the taxpayers. I can't believe people actually sit back and think "Hmm how can we solve this problem?" and come up with some stupid shit like this. Do they really think this is solving the problem?

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Posted by Digger on January 24, 2007 12:12 PM (Permalink)

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