Dec 22, 2011

Immigration Wars: How to Waste Money and Treat People Cruelly "Lawrence Downes, who covers immigration issues for the editorial page, pointed out an article today by Nina Bernstein about a Mexican immigrant in Brooklyn, a waiter named Angel, whose kidneys are failing. Dialysis keeps him alive. His brother is willing to donate a kidney, but Angel can’t get a transplant because he is here illegally.

Hospitals won’t agree to the transplant because they are not sure they’ll get reimbursed. So they want to be paid up front, with money Angel doesn’t have. He can’t buy private insurance because of his pre-existing condition. And he can’t go home to Mexico without risking both his livelihood and his family. His children are American citizens.

Instead Angel gets outpatient dialysis, which costs taxpayers $75,000 a year because it is emergency treatment under Medicaid in New York. A transplant would cost $100,000, end the dialysis and double Angel’s life expectancy." read more

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