Posted June 4, 08
Testimony of Illegal Alien Care From Florida Hospital
(Almost $2 million spent on one illegal alien/Alien's family still suing)
You can listen to this testimony on You Tube at this link: http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=bLJxmJZXgNI Transcript of this testimony below.
(See last paragraph in red fonts as to how this is related to the initiative to deny benefits to illegal aliens and also paragraph on 84 hospitals in California being closed)
Thank you Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity and for hearing me today. I am Carol Plato. I am from Martin County, and I am Director of corporate business services from Mark Memorial Medical Center. I just have a brief couple of stories to tell you about.
In 2001 we had a Guatemalan, an illegal patient, in our hospital. He was there from 2001 until 2003. He had over 1.5 million in health care services. We forcibly returned him to his home country of Guatemala at our own cost of $30,000. You ask why I am telling you about a case that happened in 2003. Because today that case is not over. We have spent and are spending up to a quarter of a million dollars in legal fees because his family here in the United States is suing us because they think it was inappropriate for us to return this illegal patient to his home country.
As of today I have a patient from Mexico who has been in my hospital for 760 days. He has severe brain damage. He has no family, no friends. His charges to date for almost two years is $1.5 million dollars, and we have contacted the Mexican Consulate four times. We have contacted immigration, and nobody will help us return this patient to Mexico. We are even willing to spend our own $30,000 to return this patient. We can't get anyone to help us with that.
In 2007 the Florida Hospital Association estimates that there was 100 million dollars in cost for illegal patient care. That affects all of us.
One of the major problems that health care institutions have today that you need to be aware of is ongoing care. If somebody comes into our emergency rooms, we don't turn them away, but if somebody comes into our emergency room and they have renal failure and they require dialysis - right now I have six patients, illegal undocumented patients that we are seeing every three days for renal dialysis.
For all of this that I have talked about, we have received no reimbursement. This obviously affects all of us in this room. Our healthcare costs are severely affected by this.
I would also like to end with pointing out that a large percentage of the babies born at our facility are from illegal parents.
Representative: I do have one quick question for Representative Shane.
Chair: Sorry, I know there are a lot of speakers.
Representative: Maam, when you know that they are illegal and come to your hospital do you report them to the federal authorities to come and get them.
Carol: We have tried, and we have been told on numerous occasions that they are interested only if a crime has been committed and from what I understand it seems like they are not even interested then.
Rep. So the fact that they are illegal is not enough crime. End of Video
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons reports that "free medical care has degraded and closed some of America's finest emergency medical facilities, and caused hospital bankruptcies: 84 California hospitals are closing their doors. Anchor babies, born to illegal aliens instantly qualify as citizens for welfare benefits and have caused enormous rise in Medicaid costs and stipends." http://www.jpands.org/vol10no1/cosman.pdf
We know this particular law that concerns emergency care is a federal law; but every illegal alien we can deter from coming to Arkansas by cutting benefits will help keep our expenses down on these benefits required by the federal government. Every illegal alien lured to Arkansas by allowing them benefits will increase the expenses of Arkansans. That is one more reason to pass the initiative. I hope this motivates some of you to get petitions signed. You can pull off petition and instructions for collecting signatures at this link. http://www.securearkansas.com/
You can comment on this post on Arkansas Watch blog at this link: http://arkansaswatch.blogspot.com/2008/06/one-alien-cost-hospital-almost-2.html
It can be read on line at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/illegals%20-%201%20illegal%20cost%20hospital%20$2%20million-family%20still%20suing.htm