Running head: EFFECTS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Effects of Illegal Immigration on Healthcare in North Carolina
Effects of Illegal Immigration on Healthcare in North Carolina Another problem is immigrant’s use of hospital and emergency services rather than preventative medical care. For example, utilization rate of hospitals and clinics by illegal aliens (29 percent) is more than twice the rate of the overall U.S. population (11 percent). As a result, the costs of medical care for immigrants are staggering. Data on health care costs for illegal immigrants are sketchy because hospitals and community health centers don’t ask about patient’s legal status. In California, a 2004 study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform put the state’s annual cost at $1.4 billion. Similar studies in Colorado and Minnesota in 2005 came up with much smaller estimates: $31 million and $17 million, respectively (Wolf, 2008). Another critical issue, immigrants also have high rates of infectious diseases and are a public health risk. Because illegal immigrants, unlike those who are legally admitted for permanent residence, undergo no medical screening to assure that they are not bearing contagious diseases, the rapidly swelling population of illegal aliens in our country has also set off a resurgence of contagious diseases that had been totally or nearly eradicated by our public health system (Martin, 2009). According to Dr. Laurence Nickey, director of the El Paso health district “Contagious diseases that are generally considered to have been controlled in the United States are readily evident along the border…The incidence of tuberculosis is twice that of the U.S. rate. Dr. Nickey also states that leprosy, which is considered by most Americans to be a disease of the Third World, is readily evident along the U.S.-Mexico border and that dysentery is several times the U.S. rate. People have come to the border for economic opportunities, but the necessary sewage...
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