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Time to ration health care for illegal aliens

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 17, 2009 09:40 AM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Big Nanny Democrats want to ration health care for everyone in America – except those who break our immigration laws.

The latest cry for help comes from Nevada’s University Medical Center, via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

“Our people are really torn,” said Brian Brannman, UMC’s chief operating officer. “We want to take care of people who are ill. We’re proud that we can save lives. But our employees are also worried about the survival of UMC. They know that the appetite of taxpayers for helping undocumented immigrants is limited.”

Since April, UMC has been spending about $2 million per month providing emergency dialysis services to 80 illegal immigrants, Brannman said.

He projects that these services at UMC could run more than $24 million in the current fiscal year.

In each of the five prior years, the hospital provided the same emergency services to half as many illegal immigrants for a little more than $1 million per month.

Brannman said the hospital receives no reimbursement from federal, state or local sources to provide this life-saving treatment for people who have entered the country illegally.

But under federal law, any patient who shows up at an emergency department requesting an examination or treatment for a medical condition must be given an appropriate medical screening to determine whether there is an emergency. If there is, treatment must be provided.

“When we’re projecting a budget deficit of $70 million for fiscal year 2010, you can see that $24 million in dialysis treatment that’s not reimbursed is an awfully big chunk,” Brannman said.

UMC health care professionals say discussion of how to reform the nation’s health care system must include how to shore up taxpayer-supported hospitals, strained to the breaking point by following the law to care for those who are breaking it…

…”The federal government kicked the can down the road on the immigration issue and gave the bill to us,” Brannman said. “This is a federal policy failure that is driving huge health care costs to our citizens.”

The solution is not to give them health insurance, but to turn off the magnets that draw them to enter illegally in the first place.

The hospital has reached out to Mexican government officials to try and convince illegal aliens to return home. But “I can’t make them go back,” the Mexican consul in Las Vegas told the Review-Journal.

And the government officials in the United States who do have the power to deport them…won’t.

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