Tags: Illegals: | The | Real | Cause | Health | Insurance | Crisis

Illegals: The Real Cause of Health Insurance Crisis

Sunday, 01 May 2005 12:00 AM

States with the highest concentration of the uninsured are those that border Mexico and their neighbors, and states with large populations of illegal immigrants – New York, Illinois and Florida.

"There might be as many as 11 million illegal immigrants in this country," reports Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

"Of the 19 million who go without insurance for a full year, how many of them are undocumented workers? It's impossible to know exactly. But in any case, it would be a large share."

Undocumented workers have contributed to the Los Angeles County Health Department's $1.2 billion deficit. Last year the county spent $340 million to treat uninsured patients, and the state was hit with $1.4 billion in unreimbursed health care costs. Texas spent $850 million, and Arizona, $400 million.

One solution to the problem is to deny treatment to patients who cannot prove their citizenship or show they have health insurance, but that is likely to prove politically impossible, according to IBD. "A better answer is to secure our borders and put a lot of pressure on Mexico to fix its economy."

The IBD report comes on the heels of government research showing that the number of Americans without health insurance may be overstated by as much as 20 percent.

Michael O'Grady, a top health economist in the Bush administration, commissioned two separate studies on the number of uninsured. One of the studies, conducted by Actuarial Research Corp., estimated that the number has been too high by 20 percent.

"Nobody is trying to diminish this problem – this is still a big, serious public health problem," O'Grady said.

"We're trying to give policymakers the best data available so it feeds into a policy development process that reduces the number of uninsured Americans."

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said: "The president believes there are too many Americans who are uninsured. We defer to the official experts on exactly what the count is, but the president thinks it's too many."

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States with the highest concentration of the uninsured are those that border Mexico and their neighbors, and states with large populations of illegal immigrants - New York, Illinois and Florida. "There might be as many as 11 million illegal immigrants in this country,"...
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Sunday, 01 May 2005 12:00 AM
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