August 6, 2008

We the People - Wrong Patient Priorities In Health System Outlook

Wrong Patient Priorities In Health System Outlook

A recent patient survey indicated that 70 percent of the women who gave birth at Parkland Hospital in Dallas were illegal immigrants. In 2004, the hospital spent $70.7 million delivering 15,938 babies.

Medicaid (taxpayers) ponied up $34.5 million to cover the delivery costs for the undocumented women. Dallas County taxpayers also kicked in $31.3 million, or about 40 percent of the total obstetrics costs, and the federal government (taxpayers) paid an additional $9.5 million.

In California, 60 hospitals are in financial trouble due to this phenomenon.

These are incredible numbers. I recently needed a hernia patch. Instead, I had to borrow money to pay a $24,000 property-tax bill, part of which goes to the hospital district.

And the punch line is that my sister in Presidio tells me to go down there and cross the border to Ojinaga to get the hernia operation.

In Mexico, it is a fraction of the cost in the United States, and lots of Americans are now going across the border to get health care if they have to pay for it themselves.

Edward Holman

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Should the Texas State Legislature pass immigration enforcement laws in 2009?