If you haven't been following, the New York Times has been chronicling the plight of illegal immigrant dialysis patients at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Due to severe budget deficits the hospital had told its patients in the dialysis unit, nearly all of whom are illegal, that the unit will close this month. Out of humanitarian concerns they agreed to give the patients money to go home to their native countries and even offered to pay for three months of dialysis there.
Now it appears the unit will not close as scheduled. The closure date has been extended to February and may in fact stay open until September and beyond. However most of the patients had not even bothered to look for other dialysis centers. Says one patient, "I thanked God because he is really the only one that can allow us to continue our treatments."
Hmm, I think I now somebody besides God she should be thanking. How about you and me, the American taxpayers? While we are running up trillion dollar budget deficits and facing higher tax burdens, including mandatory health insurance purchasing in the new health care legislation, these patients are getting free health care thanks to our tax dollars. Illegal immigrants won't be forced to buy health insurance and are not eligible for Medicare so they wind up at charity hospitals getting free care from the public. Sounds like a pretty good deal.
And what about the illegal immigrants who did the right thing and went back home to get their dialysis? They are now struggling with substandard medical care. Once their free care courtesy of Grady and American taxpayers is used up, they are SOL. Good luck trying to sneak across the border with renal failure. They would need to get travel advice from Osama bin Laden.