Vallejo California is an interesting case study of one community effort seeking to supply primary care to the poor. It’s proponents say the clinic is saving local emergency rooms thousands by providing non-emergency care to uninsured patients (many illegals) at low cost or free of charge. Many illegals, without proof of income, are receiving the services free of charge. Many residents want the clinic’s county funding cut to reflect its treatment of illegals who they believe should not be receiving health care at the expense of taxpayers.
The problem is twofold and highlights two major issues concerning health care today: “the un-insured and balooning costs” (Jordon, 2009, para. 4).The tip of a controversial iceberg, if health-care reform goes through the way The U.S. House bill is written, no such clinic, in California or otherwise, will receive any federal funding if it continues to treat illegal immigrants. And from opinions so far, local voters may not approve public funds to do the job. It is a health care conundrum that threatens to drive illegals back to expensive emergency rooms, and/or in denying them clinic treatment, running the risk of them not receiving treatment for diseases they may spread to the entire community.
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that half of the twelve million illegal immigrants in the U.S. do not have health insurance and go to emergency rooms where they are bound by a 1986 law to be treated. Emergency-room visits, where treatment costs are much higher than in clinics,” jumped 32% nationally between 1996 and 2006, the latest data available” (Jordon, 2009, para. 5).
More than an ethical question for Sutter Solano Medical Center Chief Executive Terry Glubka, Gluba, in pushing for the clinic, was trying to reduce costs at the hospital where the poorer population [including many illegals] were coming to get treated for everything from bug bites to severe injuries. By