Sunday, November 9, 2008
Deporting Uninsured Immigrants
Undocumented aliens have a right to emergency care in the ERs of hospitals, but not to sustained care. Because these patients are without insurance, the cost of sustained care must be absorbed by the hospitals. As a consequence, many hospitals have taken to "repatriating the patient" -- that is, hiring an ambulance plane and shipping the patient back home. The New York Times (see posting for August 5, 2008) had publicized the practice and uncovered a number of abuses. Many repatriations are voluntary, but others have been done involuntarily. Some American citizens have been wrongly repatriated. The New York Times printed a lengthy follow-up report on the problem with specific case studies.