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CA Counties Cut Illegal Aliens Healthcare

From a deeply outraged Los Angeles Times:

California counties cut healthcare to illegal immigrants

With budget problems afflicting counties across the state, some have begun eliminating healthcare to illegal immigrants. Critics say this will only shift the burden to hospital emergency rooms.

By Anna Gorman
April 27, 2009

Forced to slash their budgets, some California counties are eliminating nonemergency health services for illegal immigrants — a move that officials acknowledge could backfire by shifting the financial burden to emergency rooms.

Sacramento County voted in February to bar illegal immigrants from county clinics at an estimated savings of $2.4 million. Contra Costa County followed last month by cutting off undocumented adults, to save approximately $6 million. And Yolo County is voting on a similar change next month, which would reduce costs by $1.2 million.

"This is a way for us to get through what I think is a horrible year for healthcare in California," said William Walker, director of Contra Costa Health Services.

Walker said the national ambivalence on immigration policy means that illegal immigrants are living here but without federal or state funding to provide essential medical services to them. Walker, who began his medical career treating undocumented farmworkers, said that deciding to cut their services was difficult.

"This is the community of people we have all relied upon for decades, providing work not only in construction but in service and child care," he said. "We all live and work here together."

As the recession continues, property tax revenue decreases and the number of newly uninsured patients increases, other county health departments in California and the nation may make similar changes, said Robert Pestronk, executive director of the National Assn. of County and City Health Officials.

"Communities are having to make excruciating decisions about the services they fund," he said.

But Pestronk said that shifting costs isn’t the answer.

"This is a balloon that just expands," he said. "If you squeeze it in one place, it’s just going to expand somewhere else."

John Schunhoff, Los Angeles County’s interim health services department director, said there is no plan to eliminate health services to the county’s illegal residents, despite significant projected deficits and concern about further cuts in state funding.

Eliminating illegal immigrants from health services may enable counties to balance their budgets this year but won’t solve the problem in the long term, said David Hayes-Bautista, professor of medicine and director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture.

"We are mortgaging the future to scrape through the present," he said.

And study after study shows that illegal immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born residents to go to the doctor or seek regular medical care, he said…

[T]he policy changes have angered immigrant rights advocates, who argue that restrictions could also cause a chilling effect on legal residents and U.S. citizens in mixed-status families.

"Even those people who qualify to get care won’t," said Reshma Shamasunder, director of the California Immigrant Policy Center.

Shamasunder also said that denying healthcare to one segment of the population puts everyone else at risk as communicable diseases go untreated and emergency rooms become even more crowded.

Jose Suarez, who has asthma, said he now plans to go to the hospital if he gets sick. Suarez, 25, was born in Mexico but has been living in Contra Costa County for 10 years…

Note how the objections raised outnumber the arguments for cutting back on free healthcare to illegal aliens.

Also note the ‘facts’ that get slipped into articles like these:

As the recession continues, property tax revenue decreases and the number of newly uninsured patients increases…

Have property taxes gone down in California? Maybe a little due to foreclosures, but don’t the banks still have to pay the property taxes?

And aren’t they already incredibly high?

And what did the California counties do with the money when housing prices – and property taxes – were going through the ceiling?

Still, this is horrible.

If this ‘trend’ keeps up, they might have to cut back on the free healthcare that they now give to legal US citizens and California residents.

Besides, all of this really makes no sense.

We have all ready been assured by no less a healthcare expert than Mr. Obama that giving more people free healthcare is good for the economy.

So why are these niggardly counties cutting back?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “CA Counties Cut Illegal Aliens Healthcare”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Of course, let us all put blinders on when using the words “Illegal Immigrant”. This is the #1 drain on any economy. These are the non Taxpaying lamprey eels that are sucking the life out of a once great state and now becoming A SCOURGE ON OTHER STATES!
    This is a classic example of ignoring a problem till it becomes a huge Quasimoto hump on the taxpayers back.
    Our politicians say that they aren’t illegals at all but we are Right Wing nuts and if you happen to be a Veteran also ………. you are an “EXTREMEST”.

    They are gonna push till it comes to shove; then what?

  2. woodmanthered says:

    I am just a poor country boy would somebody tell me what niggardly means. I can’t get no health care, been here all my life. I was born here in this country. Hurt out of work 2 years. Should I tell social services that I’m an alien.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      If you are a demoncrat you are a IGNORANUS!!

    • pdsand says:

      It’s like a penny-pincher, stingy with money.

      “[T]he policy changes have angered immigrant rights advocates, who argue that restrictions could also cause a chilling effect…”

      It’s good to see there are still a few chilling effects which bother these people.

  3. proreason says:

    We ain’t seen nothin yet.

    Personally, my family has reduced our spending 25%, moving toward 50% if nothing breaks in the near future.

    Last I looked, Government spending has been reduced, er, check that, INCREASED 100%. Of course, my taxes aren’t going up. President Obamy told me so. Other people will be paying for a doubling of critical government services, not me. So I’m really happy that I got an $8 a month w-4 decrease while i’m forced to reduce my other spending by 25 to 50% to be able to live. I feel real good about that. I’m buying 3 more Big-Mac’s a month, at least until I have to pay the $8 a month back next April 15.

    Because, of course, everything that the Government provides me is essential, like paying for illegal immigrant’s health care, providing houses to people who don’t want to work, paying people to paint pictures of Jesus in a pee cup, and stuff like that.

    And I’d also like to say, that if anything bad has happened to anybody, or ever does happen to anybody in the future, it’s Bushhitlers fault, and it happened before President Obamy was even born.

  4. Right of the People says:

    But what does ACORN and La Raza have to say about all of this? Aren’t these counties being RACIST????????? Obamy will fix it I’m sure by ordering them to continue paying, after all isn’t that what the stimulus is for? I’ve begun stockpiling food and water beside ammo, something big is going to happen, and soon. Lock and load, things are going to go full tilt bozo!


  5. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Something has to give somewhere in all this mess. The tension between the haves paying to support the have nots is beginning to intensify. I wish everyone success on the stockpiling for preparation. Ammo is getting scarcer to find unless you own a hunting rifle or a shotgun. Even bulk .22 ammo is becoming scarce.

  6. pdsand says:

    “Shamasunder also said that denying healthcare to one segment of the population puts everyone else at risk as communicable diseases go untreated and emergency rooms become even more crowded.”

    I think it’s important to note that it’s not denying healthcare to illegal aliens that puts the rest of us at risk for communicable diseases. It’s having these third world peasants in our midst that puts us at risk of catching their exotic diseases.

    • JohnMG says:

      What a concept, pdsand. Do you think if someone brought this to the government’s attention they might do something about it? Like secure the borders, for instance? I mean, Obama wants us to come up with $100 million in savings. I’m sure if he knew about this he’d be right on it. Just as soon as he gets to the bottom of the 747 photo-op issue he knew nothing of.

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