We MUST wake up to this problem. As long as Vicente Fox can get free medical care for his people, he will never enforce immigration laws and will continue to threaten law suits and retribution any time we do something about illegal aliens. Americans in border states are losing their jobs and tax payers are paying billions so Mexico doesn’t have to provide medical care or build hospitals for its citizens. If we sealed our borders, it would force them to do so. That’s better for the Mexican people and better for us. I just can’t understand why our government chooses to hide from this problem.
Antonio Valenzuela Gomez, a retired factory worker who boasts 49 grandchildren, lifts his shirt to show the giant scar where American doctors cut into his chest a year ago.
Gomez, 79, was at his house in the dusty Mexican border town of Naco near here when his heart began to fail. There is no hospital in that part of Mexico, so family members loaded Gomez in a car and drove him a short distance to the U.S. checkpoint.
An ambulance arrived from the Arizona side and rushed Gomez 7 miles to Copper Queen Community Hospital here. Emergency room workers stabilized him and sent him 80 miles north to Tucson Medical Center, where heart surgery was performed.
Gomez, who spent three weeks in U.S. hospitals, thinks the bill was about $20,000 â€” likely a fraction of the actual cost. He offers gratitude along with small monthly payments that will never cover the expense. “They saved my life,” he says. “They treated me well.”
Along the border from Chula Vista, Calif., to Brownsville, Texas, U.S. hospitals serve as a medical safety net for undocumented immigrants and residents of northern Mexico. Each year, their care costs American medical centers, consumers and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. During 2002, 38 Arizona medical centers surveyed by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association reported losses on foreign-national patients of $153 million. . . . . . .