Posted on April 1, 2005

State Audit Suggests Cutting Back Medical Care for Illegal Immigrants

KESQ NewsChannel 3 (Palm Springs, Cal.), Apr. 1

LOS ANGELES A state audit suggests that Los Angeles County hospitals could save at least 130 (m) million dollars a year by limiting the nonemergency medical services it provides to illegal immigrants.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the audit found that the county spends about 340 (m) million dollars a year treating undocumented immigrants at its health facilities and could save between 130 (m) million and 138 (m) million a year by discontinuing nonemergency services to them.

The audit found the county treats five times as many undocumented immigrants as required by state law.

County health director Doctor Thomas Garthwaite and other county officials say denying nonemergency care to noncitizens would create a public health catastrophe.