Saturday, July 16, 2016

Foreigners Get Free Health Care; Taxpayers Get The Bill

Medical bills are pushing more Americans into severe "financial distress," even if they have insurance. That's the grim news from a top medical journal. These bills force hundreds of thousands into bankruptcy each year.
What's so galling is that while Americans struggle to pay their bills, freeloaders from other countries get the same care at no cost by gaming our generous open-door hospital policies. They take a flight to the U.S., go straight to an emergency room, and get pacemakers, chemotherapy and other expensive care, leaving U.S. taxpayers to foot their bills.
Evan Levine, a cardiologist at a teaching hospital in the Bronx, recently treated a Trinidad resident who had learned his pacemaker battery was about to give out. He came to New York to avoid paying for cardiac care back home. Cost to him? Zero, aside from airfare.
It's a common practice, according to a medical device salesman who services hospitals in the New York area. He gets calls for pacemakers destined for patients from South or Central America who fly in and take a bus directly to the hospital. The bill for one pacemaker patient can reach $96,000. John Q. Public gets stuck with it.
Taxpayers cough up an estimated $2 billion a year for a program called Emergency Medicaid, according to Kaiser Health News. It covers everyone unable to pay for emergency medical care, including illegal immigrants and residents of other countries here for medical freebies.
Read the rest of Betsy McCaughey's op-ed HERE.

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