Just One More Benefit Of Illegal Immigration!
This story comes with a blood pressure alert...
Mauricio Hernandez's belly was swollen like a pregnant woman's. ... Every month for four years, he'd been going to the emergency room at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to have his abdomen drained of fluid, the result of cirrhosis caused by years of heavy drinking.Now, are you sitting down? And remember, these figures come from the far Reich Wing LA Times...
It wasn't exactly an emergency, but the ER was his only medical care. An illegal Mexican immigrant, Hernandez had learned that emergency rooms legally cannot turn away patients without examining and stabilizing them. He had stopped drinking, he said. But his job unloading big rigs paid little and offered no health insurance.
At each ER visit, he waited from five to 10 hours, received immediate treatment and left with no long-term plan for follow-up care. So his condition worsened, making more ER visits necessary.
Hospital officials estimate that in the first four months of 2006 alone, Hernandez's ER visits and hospitalizations cost taxpayers$37,500.*snip*
... in Los Angeles County, many are immigrants, legal and illegal. Collectively, they have strained the more than 70 emergency rooms in the county to the breaking point, helping to boost uncompensated care costs to $1.6 billion annually.And here's the LA Times lame attempt to paint a happy face on this story...
By now, Hernandez has stopped going to the ER.
His stomach is slowly becoming smaller. A specialist has determined that he doesn't need a transplant.Oh, only $19,500 dollars! Why didn't you say so, I now feel like almost precisely half the sucker I used to. Huzzah!
Hernandez goes to the clinic so often that he's learned the names of nurses and clerks and takes them tamales. He visited six times in the three weeks before Christmas.
The cost of his care over the last seven months has been cut almost in half, to $19,500, COPE officials estimate.
Every so often, Hernandez will jokingly threaten to go back to the county's emergency room.
Locusts folks, locusts!
H/T Digger who "digs" in a bit more!
Technorati Tags: illegal immigration, los angeles, hospital closings, locusts,