blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Thu May 12 09:06:58 MDT 2005
Let the rioting begin.....................
U.S. to Pay for Illegals' Health Care
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Health care providers could charge the government
for emergency care provided to illegal aliens beginning Tuesday.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued final
guidance Monday that sets up a system for reimbursement. Lawmakers
set aside $1 billion over four years for the program, created by
Medicare legislation passed in 2003.
For hospitals in border states, the additional money can mean the
difference between running a profitable business or an
unprofitable one, said Don May, vice president of policy for the
American Hospital Association.
"I don't know if it will completely change their financial
picture, but for those hospitals on the border, this is going to
make a difference in ensuring they are there to treat the
patients, not just the undocumented ones, but all the patients
living in those communities," May said.
Two-thirds of the money will be distributed to health care
providers based on a state's percentage of undocumented aliens.
The remaining third will go to providers in the six states with
the largest number of arrests of undocumented aliens.
The states receiving the highest amounts in the current fiscal
year are California, $70.8 million; Texas, $46 million; Arizona,
$45 million; and New York, $12.25 million.
Payments to providers will be made on a quarterly basis and will
be adjusted proportionately if the bills exceed the state's
One group that advocates stricter immigration policies said the
government's reimbursement of hospitals was the right thing to
"It seems to me that if the federal government has abdicated its
responsibility for immigration enforcement, then it's responsible
for making those jurisdictions whole," said Mark Krikorian,
executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a think
tank based in Washington.
© 2005 The Associated Press
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