Taxpayers Foot Bill For Billions In Illegal Immigrant Healthcare Costs

The influx of illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border has led to substantial healthcare debts, largely due to a lack of insurance and exploitation of Medicaid benefits.

The House Committee on Homeland Security revealed in a November 2023 report that the immigration policies of the Biden administration are costing approximately $451 billion a year, with a significant amount of this figure being spent on healthcare for undocumented immigrants.

Many of these individuals do not have health insurance yet accumulate substantial healthcare debts due to extended hospital stays. A considerable number are also eligible for government assistance, including Medicaid.

In early 2024, California Governor Gavin Newsom launched the first program at the state level to offer undocumented immigrants free, subsidized healthcare via the Medi-Cal system. Simply by entering California from the southern border, an undocumented immigrant can receive insurance funded by taxpayers.

This program is expected to cost taxpayers over $4.8 billion.

Dr. Robert Trenschel, CEO of Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona, noted during a congressional hearing in 2023 that the resource demands by illegal immigrants are triple the average in some cases.

Dr. Trenschel highlighted the severe health conditions among the migrants, including the need for dialysis, cardiac procedures, and even heart surgery.

“Some [illegal] migrants come with minor ailments, but many of them come in with significant disease,” Trenschel said during the hearing. “We’ve had migrant patients on dialysis, cardiac catheterization, and in need of heart surgery. Many are very sick.”

Another significant issue is the prolonged ICU stays, especially among pregnant women lacking adequate prenatal care, leading to a spike in the need for neonatal intensive care.

Amidst the ongoing challenges, some House Republicans are seeking ways to prevent undocumented immigrants from accessing Medicaid. Representatives Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced the Protect Medicaid Act in January, aiming to safeguard federal funds from being utilized by illegal immigrants for Medicaid benefits.

“We must stop rewarding those who break our laws at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens,” Hudson posted on X.

Guthrie shared a statement on X, declaring, “As Health Chairman it is my number one priority to reform our healthcare system and bring down costs for everyday Americans.”

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