The University of Nebraska Medical Center recently conducted a study to see if unauthorized immigrants utilize the health care system in place and if so to what degree. Dr. Jim Stimpson is UNMC’s director of the Center for Health Policy and says the examined health expenditure data between 2000 and 2009.
The results show that U-S natives spent $1-trillion on health care while unauthorized, legal and illegal immigrants combined spent $96.7-billion.
The study also shows that nearly 6-percent of the unauthorized immigrants received care but did not pay for it compared to 2.8% of U-S natives.
Dr. Stimpson says the numbers are very hard to track as illegal immigrants often use false names and identification. He says most immigrant populations utilize emergency rooms and federally qualified health centers because treatment can’t be denied treatment and many do not have health coverage.
Dr. Stimpson says current policies in place shifted the financial burden of paying for the care if immigrants and have potentially put the public’s health at risk because of the possibility of infectious diseases hold off on treatment.