Illegals affect health delivery
(BTW, I've been saying this all along. And nothing that they 'effect' is anything good)
FOUR hospital administrators with whom we spoke about the critical need for health-delivery reform believe the United States, like Canada, may be forced into a universal or single-payer system.
Certainly the California Legislature is moving the state toward that eventuality with the approval of a sweeping medical insurance bill that would essentially make employers responsible for 90 percent of their employees' health benefit costs.
Recent strikes over health-care illustrate the importance of these benefits. To many employees, fully-paid benefits are preferred to straight salary increases. Health-care costs have risen steadily and show no signs of leveling off, making health benefits a top employment issue.
Hospital administrators agree: The more people insured, the less impact on their ability to remain operational and still treat a reasonable number of uninsured.
Some health-care researchers place the number of
uninsured in Los Angeles County at about 50 percent. Translated: With a shocking 4-1/2 million people in our region without medical coverage, the position of hospitals forced to give basically free treatment has become untenable.
But it will take more than insuring as many of those uninsured as possible to get hospitals back to some semblance of economic health.
Congress ought to take seriously a Pew Research Center for The People & The Press study that found about 82 percent of registered Republicans favor tighter immigration controls. The real surprise is the number of Democrats and independents who agree, about 76 percent of each. Rising health-care costs and crowded emergency rooms certainly could be cited as a viable reason.
Federal authorities have acknowledged the negative impact illegal immigration has had on the financial solvency of the nation's hospitals by including $1 billion in the Medicare modernization bill to reimburse hospitals for services provided to illegal immigrants.
Clearly the bulk of that funding should go to border states including
California, which shoulders a disproportionate share of the cost of illegal immigration from Mexico. In fact, Southern California hospitals ought to receive additional federal aid on a temporary basis to deal with the treatment of uninsured immigrants. We'd like to see research to determine the depth of this need to recommend both the amount and length of funding.
Too, urban hospitals in cities of less than 1 million residents will receive larger Medicare payments under the newly passed legislation. Certainly any added money will help.
But HMOs, increasingly using their member "buying power' to low-ball hospital payments, ultimately end up doing a disservice to their members if hospitals are forced to cut services or close.
These health organizations must shave a little off the bottom line to increase the amount paid to hospitals to ensure the facilities stay open.
But hospitals must do more to guarantee their future. A good place to start would be with the Hospital Association of Southern California, which must become more active politically. It's clear hospitals need lobbyists in the California and federal state houses to get their message out.
Unless the problem of financial stability for hospitals is addressed through a variety of means, the insured will continue to pay more to subsidize the uninsured, creating a defacto universal care program that will quickly collapse under its own expensive and inequitable weight.
Today, we present the second in our series on the health of hospitals in our region.
Tomorrow, we look at hospital staffing.
I don't agree with much of this article, other than the problems that it points out. I especially do not agree with the proposed "solutions".
The answer to this issue is as simple as the problem is big:
It lies not with increased funding, hiring more staff, or mandating that companies pay for insurance.
The bottom line simple solution is this:
NO PUBLICLY FUNDED HEALTH CARE WILL BE
ANY PERSON IN
THIS COUNTRY WHO IS
What part of
ILLEGAL is unclear?
The only thing that an illegal alien deserves is imprisonment and/or a one way ticket back to their country of origin.