NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 27, 2006

Commissioners in Dallas County, Texas, plan to ask the Mexican government to pay for the medical care given to Mexican nationals at a local hospital.

"We will be sending a bill to Mexico's president to explain to him and to the embassy how much money it is costing the Dallas County taxpayer to treat their residents, and they need to reimburse Dallas County," said County Judge Margaret Keliher.

  • Each year, Dallas County taxpayers spend $15 million to treat Mexican nationals at Parkland Hospital -- and that total includes only the first two days of the patients' emergency care, according to CBS 11 News in Dallas.
  • Dallas County will also send bills to nearby Texas counties whose residents seek care at Parkland -- running up a tab of nearly $27 million a year.

Dallas can't force those other counties to pay up, but Parkland's board chair Lauren McDonald said if outsiders don't pay their fair share of emergency and trauma care, it will have a devastating effect on the hospital and those who rely on it.

Jesse Diaz, local president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, complained: "Why punish Mexico?  Mexico should not be a scapegoat … the immigrants are paying taxes, buying homes and cars, and are contributing to the economy."

Source: Jack Fink, "Dallas Co. Wants Refund For Mexican Nationals Care," CBS 11 News, June 20, 2006.


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