In 2009, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimated that the yearly cost of providing healthcare for illegal aliens was $10.7 billion. It was a difficult figure to approximate as hospitals are not permitted to ask if an emergency room patient is in the country illegally. After all, should an exact total of monies spent even on the delivery of anchor babies (about $10,000 per “anchor”) become known, it would enrage an American public which Democrats especially hope to keep blissfully ignorant about one of the principle reasons for skyrocketing healthcare and health insurance prices—uncompensated costs.
In 1986, EMTALA was signed into law. Part of the COBRA act, EMTALA requires hospitals to provide treatment to anyone who needs it regardless of citizenship status or ability to pay. As the government does NOT reimburse hospitals for such care, a number of hospitals nationwide were forced to close their doors, being unable to provide millions of dollars in free services.
Though hospitals are able to recoup a minimal portion of this massive expense via Medicaid reimbursement, the only way to remain solvent is by raising prices to paying patients. Naturally, this drives up the cost of both healthcare and health insurance.
Enter Barack Obama and his namesake “healthcare” program. When arguing the constitutionality of ObamaCare before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli claimed that the individual mandate requiring everyone either purchase health insurance or pay a penalty was necessary in order to stop the practice of charging “…uncompensated costs … directly to other market participants…”
In short, the Regime was ostensibly outraged that responsibility for payment of these uncompensated costs was being placed on others by healthcare providers who routinely “…charge[d] higher rates in order to cover the cost of uncompensated care…” Mr. Obama’s Justice Department minions argued that although millions of Americans did not WANT to purchase health insurance, the federal government had both a right and an obligation to force them to do so in order to halt the “unfair practice” of the uninsured taking advantage of and driving up prices for the insured!
So by charging EVERYONE, whether they wanted insurance or not, there would be no more unfair, uncompensated costs because everyone would be paying for healthcare! The freeloaders, formerly gaming the system by getting free care paid by others, would now be forced to pay their “fair share!”
Did Congress consider changing the EMTALA LAW–the real reason for uncompensated costs–rather than forcing ObamaCare on the American people? Of course not. Will illegals have to buy healthcare? No. They will STILL be getting “free” care, paid by those who ARE required to buy ObamaCare approved healthcare or pay a “penalty.” (A “TAX” if you’re Justice Roberts.)
In short, thanks to ObamaCare, billions in healthcare costs for illegals will be neatly covered up by the individual mandate. And Democrats will eagerly state that illegals are NOT being covered by ObamaCare and that any healthcare expense associated with illegals is at worst minimal.
It’s the LEAST the Democrat Party can do for 30 million undocumented voters, isn’t it!
Photo credit: luna715 (Creative Commons)