Oh yes, how I love to make light of tragic circumstances some will accuse me of after writing this article, but let me make it clear, I find nothing gleeful about people being burned. However, I also find nothing gleeful in Americans being taken advantage of time and time again and that is just what has happened, once again, in California.
Due to the recent fires in California, which happen every year, there are 18 people currently in a UCSD Medical Center burn ward after being caught in the fires (see video of the news reports below). Of these 18, 11 are illegal aliens from Mexico, four of which are in critical condition. I have no problems with our hospitals caring for these individuals. Where I do have a problem is that they are all uninsured and once again the American people are being expected to pay for their full care for free. UCSD Medical Center alone swallows $30,000,000 a year in uncompensated care each year.
Felipe Calderon stated in September, 2007 that "Wherever There Is A Mexican, That Is Mexico”, but Mexico seems to conveniently disappear when it comes time to pay the bill.
I find it outrageous that Americans are expected to continue to cover the costs of illegal aliens injured in the United States. These burn victims will cost the US taxpayers a combined minimum of around $500,000 if their stay is the average of 15-days, but in this case doctors say they will be there longer. Then there is the continued care costs, which could last months or years, after that. Meanwhile the other 7 people in the burn unit will have to shell out their payment themselves and woe to them if they don't have insurance, because their financial futures will be destroyed. No free care for them, they are "the privileged" they are Americans and can magically make money appear from nowhere.
San Diego Union-Tribune
The fact that 11 of the 18 wildfire victims lying in UCSD Medical Center’s burn unit are illegal immigrants with no apparent health coverage highlights the daunting financial challenge hospitals face in providing long-term, intensive care for all those who need it.
According to the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, the burn victims are from central and southern Mexico, and include one woman. Four are in critical condition. All were rescued north of Tecate last week, said consulate spokesman Alberto Lozano, and it is suspected they had crossed the border illegally before coming face to face with the Harris fire.
Burn care requires ventilators, multiple surgeries, round-the-clock intensive care and grafts from human cadaveric skin. McAfee said grafts can be grown from patients’ own skin to minimize tissue rejection at $500,000 per patient.
Last year, the average cost of treating a burn patient at UCSD was $45,000 for an average 15-day stay.
UCSD Medical Center will be seeking reimbursement from the Mexican government, but don't hold your breath.
It's time for Mexico to put their money where their rhetoric is. If Mexico is indeed where these Mexicans are then they need to pony up the cash to pay for them, that is unless they really don't care about Mexicans and are just full of lip service...
Ruth of Illegal Protest has dug a little deeper into what happens to foreigners in Mexico when they require medical care, even while on vacation. Stories like this one...
... Mexican hospitals absolutely will turn foreigners away if they are unable to pay cash up front. “I was negotiating with them. It was like a barter. We were bartering back and forth. They wanted $20,000 US. They said, I’ll take $10,000 US. It’s like going to a flea market and you are playing with somebody’s life here”, said a Canadian woman recently. Her husband ultimately died from complications following a heart attack in Puerto Vallarta, after the travel insurance he had purchased in Canada was denied on a technicality.
Read more stories at Ruth's entry.
Tipped by: Illegal Protest
News reports on the 11 illegal aliens: