Beleaguered Bay State and U.S. taxpayers coughed up a staggering $35.7 million this year in free emergency health care for more than 52,000 illegal aliens in Massachusetts, sparking outrage from candidates and critics who back a tougher line on immigration.
The figures — released by Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration under an order for the Secretary of State’s office and after more than a month of ducking questions — show illegal immigrants who belong to MassHealth Limited received $33.8 million in taxpayer-funded in-patient hospital care this year.
They also made 6,160 visits to the state’s overburdened emergency rooms in the fiscal year ending in June for an additional cost of $1.9 million, a Herald analysis shows.
And how’s this for breathtaking arrogance? Cadillac Deval won’t let anyone from his admininstration talk about the rage-inducing numbers.
The Patrick administration, which supplied the figures last week, refused to make state health insurance officials available to discuss them.
But critics were quick to blast the huge medical bill being footed by hard-pressed, law-abiding taxpayers.
“Incorporating illegal immigrants into any type of government-sponsored health care is legitimizing their presence here,’’ said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, which favors stricter immigration policies. “It’s a kind of piecemeal amnesty.’’
Added state Rep. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), “It’s just another example in this state of working people paying the bills, and some people availing themselves of the benefits we have in the commonwealth.’’
More evidence that you can tell if Obama is lying by whether his lips are moving.
As the Obama administration begins to enact the new national health care law, the country’s biggest insurers are promoting affordable plans with reduced premiums that require participants to use a narrower selection of doctors or hospitals.
The plans, being tested in places like San Diego, New York and Chicago, are likely to appeal especially to small businesses that already provide insurance to their employees, but are concerned about the ever-spiraling cost of coverage.
But large employers, as well, are starting to show some interest, and insurers and consultants expect that, over time, businesses of all sizes will gravitate toward these plans in an effort to cut costs.
The tradeoff, they say, is that more Americans will be asked to pay higher prices for the privilege of choosing or keeping their own doctors if they are outside the new networks. That could come as a surprise to many who remember the repeated assurances from President Obama and other officials that consumers would retain a variety of health-care choices.
But companies may be able to reduce their premiums by as much as 15 percent, the insurers say, by offering the more limited plans.
“What we’re seeing is a definite uptick in interest because, quite frankly, affordability is the most pressing agenda item,” said Dr. Sam Ho, the chief medical officer for UnitedHealth’s health-care plans.
Of course this will be parsed by Barry & Co. who will say you can keep your plan and doctor, you just have to pay more for it.
I was finally able to download the rest of the pictures from the Tea Party on the Boston Common yesterday.
(Scroll for new photos courtesy of Tank)
These people must have missed the memo that anti-war protests have fallen out of fashion since Obama’s election.
So angry. It could incite violence…
What’s this? There goes your narrative, Comrade Keith.
The only Hitler references/imagery came from the Lydon LaRouche DEMOCRATS. That’s supposed to be Barney Frank sitting next to Barack H(itler) Obama.
Sorry, Husky Blogger…just another LaRouche DEMOCRAT.
Barack Obama, mmm mmm good!
A Palin impersonator. Keep your day job, honey.
The kid on the left called me a retard and said he thought Obama’s Special Olympics joke was hilarious.
This was my favorite sign of the day.
Clearly a raaaacist from Southie.
This young woman actually started crying when she couldn’t explain her t-shirt to me. It might have had something to do with the (lovely) black Tea Partier standing next to me. Or the gay man holding the pro Tea Party sign. Or perhaps she was furious at herself for being caught up in a wave of disinformation provided by her college friends and felt like a total ass for wearing a shirt that made her look like an uninformed fool.
The standoff between Massachusetts regulators and health insurance companies intensified yesterday, as most insurers stopped offering new coverage to small businesses and individuals, and state officials demanded that the insurers post updated rates online and resume offering policies by Friday.
People seeking to buy health insurance for the first time, or customers looking to change policies, found they could not do so, at least temporarily.
“We’re in limbo until the issue gets resolved,’’ said Lora Pellegrini, president of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, a trade group representing most of the state’s insurance companies. “There are no approved rates in the market right now. You’re seeing the first sign of the kind of market chaos we were worried about.’’
Insurance Commissioner Joseph G. Murphy said he has asked insurers to quote rates for new coverage through the state’s Health Connector website by week’s end, and reminded them that they are required by law to do so. The new quotes would use base rates set last year, plus additional factors such as the age and size of a company’s workforce, Murphy said.
In other words, offer the same plan as last year with zero increase in the rate – or else.
Health insurers, however, said they could not calculate new rates until a judge rules on their request for an injunction to prevent the state from continuing to block increases for the coverage period that started April 1. Insurance carriers had proposed premium rate increases averaging 8 to 32 percent, which the state found excessive. The case is expected to go before a Superior Court judge in Boston as early as tomorrow.
Insurance industry critics said the inability of new customers to buy insurance, even for a few days, is troubling. “This really is a violation of the fundamental principles of health care reform in Massachusetts, which is the universal availability of insurance,’’ said Brian Rosman, research director at Health Care for All, a Boston consumer advocacy group.
We all know the drill. When Barry is asked an uncomfortable question he either flat out lies or he blathers endlessly to eat up time with what he believes to be his brilliant words. A North Carolina woman was the victim of the latter yesterday when she queried the Obfuscator In Chief about the taxes included in ObamaCare.
“We are overtaxed as it is,” Doris said bluntly.
Obama started out feisty. “Well, let’s talk about that, because this is an area where there’s been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I’m going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have,” the president said.
He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer — more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”).
Halfway through, an audience member on the riser yawned.
But Obama wasn’t finished. He had a “final point,” before starting again with another list — of three points.
“What we said is, number one, we’ll have the basic principle that everybody gets coverage,” he said, before launching into the next two points, for a grand total of seven.
It was not evident that he changed any minds at Friday’s event. The audience sat politely, but people in the back of the room began to wander off.
I have a feeling this doctor won’t be a prop at any ‘ObamaCare is Great’ events in the Rose Garden.
(click photo to enlarge)
MOUNT DORA — A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care “elsewhere.”
“I’m not turning anybody away — that would be unethical,” Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. “But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.”
The sign reads: “If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”