Yet another article about THIS issues.

NOTE the only good thing I do see is:

>While the medical facility provides care for the undocumented aliens,
>the hospital does not maintain statistics on the number served, he said.

This is the problem I have been running into here in NE, when preparing for our initiative. NO ONE has any numbers that they will give out (except our jails/prisons). This new fed mandate sucks, BUT it will give us ammunition as to how much of a problem we have. Currently we KNOW it is a problem, but it is very difficult to quantify it.


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Hospitals now get paid for illegal-immigrant care

By Staff and wire reports

Health-care providers can charge the government for emergency care given to undocumented immigrants beginning today.
Beyond Borders: A Special Report on Immigration

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued final guidance Monday that sets up a system for reimbursement. Lawmakers set aside $1 billion over four years for the program, created by Medicare legislation passed in 2003.

"We hope California and Loma Linda Hospital will have some measure of compensation for the undocumented aliens," said Loma Linda University Medical Center finance chief Steve Mohr on Monday.

While the medical facility provides care for the undocumented aliens, the hospital does not maintain statistics on the number served, he said.

The first-time federal funds will prove more symbolic than substantially help with charity care, said Jan Emerson with the California Hospital Association.

In 2003 alone, hospitals in the state provided $5.1 billion in legally required unreimbursed health care, $500 million of that for undocumented immigrants, she said.

Under the new federal program, the state has been allocated about $70 million over four years.

"Seventy million will not come close to covering our costs, but it's an important first step," Emerson said.

Two-thirds of the money will be distributed to health-care providers based on a state's percentage of undocumented immigrants. The remaining third will go to providers in the six states with the largest number of arrests of undocumented immigrants.

Payments to providers will be made on a quarterly basis and will be adjusted proportionately if the bills exceed the state's allocation.

One group that advocates stricter immigration policies said the government's reimbursement of hospitals was the right thing to do.

"It seems to me that if the federal government has abdicated its responsibility for immigration enforcement, then it's responsible for making those jurisdictions whole," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank based in Washington.

The Associated Press and staff writer L.C. Greene contributed to this report.