[Paleopsych] PHXnews: Kyl/ McCain Bill Would Reimburse States For Emergency Care of Illegals Legislation

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Kyl/ McCain Bill Would Reimburse States For Emergency Care of Illegals
    Posted by U.S. Senator Jon Kyl on Thursday February 13, 2003 at 11:14
    pm MST

    Would Help Arizona Hospitals Facing Closure

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), joined by U.S. Senator
    John McCain (R-AZ), today announced their introduction of bipartisan
    legislation to reimburse states by $1.45 billion per year for the
    costs of federally-mandated emergency treatment of illegal immigrants.
    Arizona is expected to get a substantial share of any funding
    authorized. Kyl, chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health
    Care and a member of the Senate leadership, said: "This proposal will
    come to the aid of Arizona and other border states that experience the
    tremendous costs of providing federally-mandated emergency treatment
    to illegal aliens - which forces many facilities to close their doors
    to Arizonans needing help. I am pleased to report that we are making
    significant progress in getting that message across to my Senate
    colleagues. In the coming weeks, I will convene hearings to
    demonstrate the human costs of the federal government's neglect in
    this area, and will push for prompt consideration of this
    urgently-needed legislation."

    McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, added: "As a border
    state, Arizona's hospitals have been hit especially hard by the cost
    of medical services provided to immigrants," McCain said. "This
    legislation would provide Arizona and other states with federal money
    for immigrant medical care."

    A recent study requested by Kyl and conducted by the US-Mexico Border
    Counties Coalition surveyed four border states -- Arizona, California,
    New Mexico, and Texas. It found that health-care facilities in 28
    border counties alone spent more than $200 million in one year alone
    for emergency medical treatment of undocumented patients, nearly $31
    million just for the four border counties in Arizona. Such treatment
    is required under a federal law known "the Emergency Medical Treatment
    and Labor Act (EMTALA)," which forbids emergency rooms from turning
    any patient away who is in need of emergency care. The amount of $1.45
    billion is the estimated cost for the entire country per year.

    The estimated costs would have been even higher if non-border counties
    - such as Maricopa - were included in the study as well, Kyl noted.
    Some estimates place loss at Maricopa hospitals due to unpaid bills
    from illegal immigrant as high as $50 million per year.

    "This bipartisan bill provides critical support to our states and
    localities, including the medical community, for the costs they incur
    while providing healthcare ensuring that access to critical services
    are available for our most vulnerable populations. We must act soon
    before this crisis deepens," McCain said.

    "The spirit behind laws requiring emergency medical care to all comers
    is laudable and welcome," Kyl said. "But it comes at a price. And
    since this is a federal mandate imposed on local hospitals, we believe
    the federal government has a responsibility to pay for it."

    The bill is cosponsored by Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM), John Cornyn
    (R-TX), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

    Will ailing Pope John Paul II & Terri Schiavo survive past this
    (_) The Pope will survive, but Terri won't
    (_) Terri will survive, but the Pope won't
    (_) Both the Pope & Terri will survive the weekend
    (_) Both the Pope & Terri will pass away this weekend

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