U.S. Hospitals to Undocumented : Back Where You Came From

hospital460.jpgIf anyone wonders about the veracity of current immigration policy being partially responsible for the gap in health and health care access between Latinos and other groups of people, one needs only to read the recent NYT article that tells of how U.S. hospitals are dumping and deporting undocumented immigrants in critical need of care.

The reason, undocumented immigrants lack health insurance and the hospitals are other critical care centers (i.e. rehab centers and nursing homes) don’t want to have to pay the bill. In a country where health care is more about big business than about caring for the sick, hospitals are leasing planes to “take care” of their patients.

Eight years ago, Mr. Jiménez, 35, an illegal immigrant working as a gardener in Stuart, Fla., suffered devastating injuries in a car crash with a drunken Floridian. A community hospital saved his life, twice, and, after failing to find a rehabilitation center willing to accept an uninsured patient, kept him as a ward for years at a cost of $1.5 million.

What happened next set the stage for a continuing legal battle with nationwide repercussions: Mr. Jiménez was deported — not by the federal government but by the hospital, Martin Memorial. After winning a state court order that would later be declared invalid, Martin Memorial leased an air ambulance for $30,000 and “forcibly returned him to his home country,” as one hospital administrator described it.

Since being hoisted in his wheelchair up a steep slope to his remote home, Mr. Jiménez, who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury, has received no medical care or medication — just Alka-Seltzer and prayer, his 72-year-old mother said. Over the last year, his condition has deteriorated with routine violent seizures, each characterized by a fall, protracted convulsions, a loud gurgling, the vomiting of blood and, finally, a collapse into unconsciousness.

What is disturbing is that no one is tracking these deportations so there is no oversight and no sense of how many seriously ill people, humans, not aliens, are being shipped out of sight to die.

Thankfully (she said sarcastically) there are now entire businesses to help get rid of ill, unwanted bodies.

Via / Citizen Orange, NYT, Immigration Prof Blog, Metafilter

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5 comments on “U.S. Hospitals to Undocumented : Back Where You Came From
  1. I don’t have a problem with hospitals turning in illegal immigrants. They are not suppose to be here anyway. Why should hospitals raise my costs to care for illegals.

  2. Well, of *course* you don’t have any problem with hospitals turning in illegal immigrants. why on *earth* should anybody be worried that corporations are acting as police enforcement?

    Why *shouldn’t* business corporations act as the government’s police force? Makes sense to me. Just so long as we get those nasty illegals.

  3. La Macha, you do not know what you are talking about. The specific case your posting refers to involves a community non-profit hospital. They do not even have the resources to provide care to the uninsured Americans, much less the illegals.

    So in your hatred of “corporations,” did you ever stop to think that the taxes these businesses pay provide funding for these non-profit hospitals? I don’t think so.

    If the illegals do not like the deal they are getting: free education, free healthcare, and other services my tax dollars pay for, they are free to go back to where they came from. In fact, they should all be deported. They do not belong here in the first place.

  4. Profits and non-profits are both businesses. Profits are in business to make money, non-profits are not:

    The word “nonprofit” refers to a type of business — one which is organized under rules that forbid the distribution of profits to owners. “Profit” in this context is a relatively technical accounting term, related to but not identical with the notion of a surplus of revenues over expenditures.

    Most [registered!] nonprofits businesses are organized into corporations [or associations!]. Most corporations are formed under the corporations laws of a particular state. Every state has provisions for forming nonprofit corporations; some permit other forms, such as unincorporated associations, trusts, etc., which may operate as nonprofit businesses on slightly (but sometimes importantly) different terms.

    seehere for more details.

    Which means that when you advocate for businesses/corporations to act as enforcement agencies of the nation/state, you are getting into very scary territory that is essentially anti-american. As Meagan stated in her post, there are no oversight protections, no way to hold anybody accountable should a U.S. citizen be deported (as happened at least once before), and pretty much every citizen is presumed guilty until they can prove otherwise.

    These are rights you are willing to give up?

  5. Gaps in healthcare for illegal aliens? Considering the cost case you can’t blame the hospital for deporting this individual that should have been taken care of by his own country. It has gotten to the point that hospital after hospital has gone bankrupt from cases just like this.

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