Homeland Stupidity

Hospitals not taking free money for illegal immigrants

What if the government tried to give away a billion dollars to pay for emergency hospital bills for illegal immigrants? Do you think half the Southwest would be up in arms protesting? Far from it, in fact. The federal government actually does have such a program, but it hasn’t been much of a success.

The program, passed a couple of years back to reimburse hospitals for spending money on emergency care for illegal immigrants, has had very few claims filed, primarily because the paperwork is too onerous, hospital administrators say.

In addition, illegal immigrants are unlikely to advertise their status, and many hospitals are loath to ask about it, further complicating any effort the hospitals might undertake to apply for the money.

The government officials responsible for the program, though, are utterly clueless idiots.

Federal officials can’t explain why overburdened communities have not grabbed the cash.

“We are really not certain why providers are not claiming the money,” said Herb Kuhn, head of the government’s Center for Medicare Management, which administers the program intended to distribute the $1 billion between 2005 and 2008.

Nationally, only 15 percent of the money has been handed out three-quarters of the way through the program’s first year. — Chicago Tribune

Cato Institute director of policy studies Michael Cannon points out that the Republicans are unlikely to cut the program, even though it does give free health care to at least a few illegal immigrants.

“One of the program’s biggest supporters is conservative Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona, a member of the Senate leadership,” Cannon wrote. “Back in 2004, Kyl boasted that he had secured $42 million for Arizona through this program.”

A Republican Senator boasting about securing federal money for illegal immigrants. Who would have thought?

And who would have thought that a government welfare program would have so much paperwork that the cost of applying for the money would make it not worth it to even bother?

There are two problems here, and both need to be solved: First, that it’s too difficult to immigrate legally and work in the U.S., and second, that government continues to run welfare programs that are more properly handled by the private sector, which can actually get aid to those who need it.