Posted: January 3, 2006
Hospital emergency rooms in Florida may soon be closing their doors as a result of increased demands by uninsured and under-insured patients – many of them illegal aliens.
According to a new study by University of South Florida researchers, much of the demand on hospitals comes from new residents of the state. More than half of all emergency room patients in some Florida hospitals do not have insurance.
Doctors who treat uninsured patients are not compensated for their treatment.
As a result, hospitals in Florida have lost surgeons and stand to lose entire surgical departments. Some hospitals are having a hard time getting physicians to work because they are choosing to work in other areas where they will be fully compensated for the treatment they give.
As WorldNetDaily previously reported, a study by a prominent medical attorney concludes the porous border with Mexico and the resulting influx of illegal aliens poses a major public health threat to the U.S.
Madeleine Pelner Cosman, author of a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, is particularly concerned with increases in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis, chagas disease, dengue fever, polio, hepatitis A, B, and C, she told Lou Dobbs on CNN in June.
"Certain diseases that we thought we had vanquished years ago are coming back, and other diseases that we've never seen or rarely seen in America, because they've always been the diseases of poverty and the third world, are coming in now," she said.
As WorldNetDaily reported, even leprosy is suddenly on the radar of health officials.
Cosman recommends closing the border to all illegal traffic, rescinding the citizenship of "anchor babies," those born in the U.S. to parents of illegals, and making the aiding and abetting of illegals a crime.
"We have a terrible, absolutely vicious, law called EMTALA: the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which is really the culprit that requires every emergency room, and every physician of an emergency room, to treat illegal aliens for free," she said.
Cosman said 84 hospitals in California have been forced to close because of the high cost of treating illegal aliens with only 50 percent of all treatments reimbursed by government.
"Even physicians in those emergency rooms don't fully get the point that by being compassionate, and generous, and gracious, they are, in essence, destroying their own livelihoods as well as their own hospitals," she said.
While politicians often mention there are 43 million without health insurance in this country, Cosman's report estimates that at least 25 percent of those are illegal immigrants. The figure could be as high as 50 percent.
Not being insured does not mean they don't get medical care.
Among the organizations directing illegal aliens into America's medical systems, according to the report, are the Ford Foundation-funded Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association's Commission on Immigration Policy, Practice, and Pro Bono, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the National Council of La Raza, George Soros' Open Society Institute, the Migration Policy Institute, the National Network for Immigration and Refugee Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Because drug addiction and alcoholism are classified as diseases and disabilities, the fiscal toll on the health-care system rises.
"Today, legal immigrants must demonstrate that they are free of communicable diseases and drug addiction to qualify for lawful permanent residency green cards," writes Cosman, a medical lawyer, who formerly taught medical students at the City University of New York. "Illegal aliens simply cross our borders medically unexamined, hiding in their bodies any number of communicable diseases."