Thursday, June 02, 2005

Medical Care for Mexico

Let's consider the case of Cristobal Silverio. He emigrated illegally from Mexico to Stockton, Calif., to work as a fruit picker. With him came his wife and three children, all illegals. His wife, Felipa, soon gave birth to a fourth child who was born prematurely and spent three months in a neonatal incubator. That cost San Joaquin Hospital more than $300,000. The Silverios are just one example of the hidden costs to American citizens of allowing an uninterrupted flow of “cheap” labor. There are other costs as well. “The influx of illegal aliens has serious hidden medical consequences,” writes Madeline Pelner Cosman, author of the report, adding that “many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis.” Faced with what is becoming a national medical emergency caused largely by borders it has failed to secure, the federal government has announced a plan to reimburse hospitals for up to 30% of their unpaid bills for such care through 2008. Even that plan may have the perverse effect of attracting even more illegals. We are a compassionate nation. But in a world of limited resources, we cannot afford to be the emergency room for the whole world while U.S. citizens remain in need.

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