Essay: Rising health care costs put focus on illegal immigrants
The article “Rising health care costs put focus on illegal immigrants” by Richard Wolf was published in the newspaper USA Today talks about health care economic issues rising because of illegal immigration. The article states there are over 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. According to Pew Hispanic Center, the number of adult uninsured illegal immigrants is 59% and children are 53%. The health care cost of these illegal immigrants is raising the overall cost of health care in different states.
As Wolf (2008) states, “In Taxes, where the state comptroller estimates illegal immigrants cost hospitals $1.3 billion in 2006” (Para. 5). In California, the annual cost of health care was $1.4 billion in 2004. Uninsured illegal immigrants go to the emergency rooms because they cannot be turned away based on their immigration status, nationality, or ability to pay. Emergency room visits cost more than regular office visits resulting in overall increase in health care cost. Wolf (2008) states, “Some states, including New York, Illinois and Washington, as well as several California counties, cover illegal immigrant children with state tax dollars” (Para. 22). Health care economy is affected by this act because the tax money could be used in progress of other health care field. Besides economic issue, hospitals are also under the burden of uninsured immigrants because of the extra amount of work they have to do.