Immigrants Pay Bills at Higher Rates than Citizens

Most immigrant patients have jobs and pay taxes, through paycheck deductions or property taxes included in their rent, administrators at the Dallas and Fort Worth hospitals said. At both institutions, they have a better record of paying their bills than low-income Americans do, the administrators said.
The largest group of illegal immigrant patients is pregnant women, hospital figures show. Contrary to popular belief here, their care is not paid for through local taxes. Under a 2002 amendment to federal regulations, the births are covered by federal taxes through Medicaid because their children automatically become American citizens.

These cases are not affected by new regulations that went into effect on July 1 requiring Medicaid patients to provide proof of citizenship, Texas health officials said. They said they believed that only small numbers of illegal immigrants had received other Medicaid benefits.

New York Times, “Texas Hospitals Reflect Debate on Immigration” by Julia Preston, July 18, 2006

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