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article imageObamacare defunds hospitals caring for illegal immigrants

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By Larry Clifton     Jul 27, 2012 in Politics
Washington - As President Obama and Democrats reshaped healthcare in the U.S., they didn’t cover the cost to U.S. hospitals for providing illegal immigrant care.
However, hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. are required by law to treat anyone who visits their emergency rooms seeking treatment. With somewhere between 11 and 17 million illegal immigrants spread from one end of the country to the other, that’s a real problem.
Hospital leaders told The New York Times they're wary of terms in the health care reform law that cuts in half their current funding for uninsured people without even a mention of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.
Emergency rooms are required by law to treat all patients, insured or uninsured, under a federal law signed by Republican President Ronald Reagan. But Mr. Obama’s health care reform defunds care now received by uninsured patients.
After almost all Americans are required to purchase insurance by the federal government, illegal immigrants will stick out like a sore thumb in emergency rooms.
The government currently pays about $20 billion to reimburse hospitals each year for this care. But that amount is going to be halved by 2019 under the Democrat's health care reform.
Obama and the Democrats said the health care law will dramatically cut the number of people who don't have insurance, thus saving hospitals money. However, a recent CBO report says cost estimates for Obamacare have doubled to $1.76 trillion.
Meanwhile, the Democrats' healthcare calculations leave out illegal immigrant care all together, even though the costs are quite real.
Illegal immigrants will not be required to buy health insurance or be eligible for Medicaid, or be allowed to purchase insurance on state-run exchanges under the law. They also don't pay federal income taxes that fund such services.
In New York City public hospitals, an estimated 40 percent of all uninsured patients treated are undocumented, and other hospital systems have an even larger share. Experts can only estimate how many uninsured illegal immigrants there are in the country at any given times and those figures are in the millions…all unaccounted for.
As the federal government defunds hospitals, long after Mr. Obama has left the White House, who will pick up the tab for illegal immigrants?
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More about Obamacare, Nancy pelosi, Harry reid, 1010 democrats health care
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