Illegals Are Not “Dying in the Street”

Ashley Herzog
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Posted: Oct 19, 2009 12:00 AM

The latest holier-than-thou liberal trope is to claim that illegal immigrants will be “left to die” if our government doesn’t pay for their health care. A post at liberalforum.org said that if illegals are excluded from a public health insurance plan, they’ll be left to “die on the street.” (Google “die on the street” to see just how many liberals have used this oh-so-original phrase when discussing illegals and health care.) Then, last week, a member at DemocraticUnderground.com posted this gem:

“Me (to an anti-Obama, bible thumping Republican): Here's my hypothetical question to you. Suppose an adult male is an illegal alien (undocumented worker) and he is gravely ill. This gentleman, uninsured, arrives at the hospital to receive care at our expense, should the hospital care for him? Now, before you answer I want you to think to yourself, ‘what would Jesus do?’”

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE

I don’t know about Jesus, but I know what U.S. hospitals do. They treat the illegal alien and never see a penny in return. Liberals clearly get a thrill out of claiming that illegals are dying because evil Americans won’t pay for their health care. But there’s one little problem: they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Several years ago, a study commissioned by the U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition found that in the year 2000 alone, illegals racked up $200 million in health care costs. According to the study, “California lost $79.6 million in care for undocumented immigrants, Texas lost $74 million, Arizona lost $30 million and New Mexico lost almost $6 million. The study also found that ambulance providers in the four states lost $13 million.”

Mexican ambulance drivers are known to cross the border and leave patients at U.S. hospitals, knowing our government will pick up the tab. (By the way, Mexicans are not so generous. In 2006, a U.N. human rights commissioner said that “Mexico is one of the countries where illegal immigrants are highly vulnerable to human rights violations…and are denied access to education and health care.”)

Americans are so generous toward illegals, they don’t have to be desperately ill to receive health care at our expense. Californians shell out almost $50 million a year to cover non-emergency care for illegals, including abortions ($3 million), cancer treatment ($25 million), and nursing home care ($19 million).

Illegals don’t even play by the rules of the socialist system liberals hope to create. They often work off the books and don’t pay taxes, and therefore don’t help foot the bill for other people’s health care costs. The socialist motto is “from each according to his ability”—except illegals, who can get away with contributing nothing to the health care coffer.

These facts don’t fit the liberal narrative, which is one of racist and cold-hearted Americans turning away desperately sick illegals at the emergency room. If that were true, why do Mexican ambulance drivers keep bringing them here?

Illegal immigrants are “dying in the street”? Maybe illegal immigrants in Mexico. When it comes to health care, the truth is that we give and give and give, and they take.