Immigrants are NOT using hospital ER services after all

The L.A. Times is reporting that “Illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries are 50% less likely than U.S.-born Latinos to use hospital emergency rooms in California, according to a study published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.”

Wow! This study sinks one of the Minutemen’s biggest lies…that immigrants are ruining our healthcare system by overusing hospital ER services.

Here are a few more excerpts from the L.A. Times article:

“The current policy discourse that undocumented immigrants are a burden on the public because they overuse public resources is not borne out with data, for either primary care or emergency department care,” said Alexander N. Ortega, an associate professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health and the study’s lead author. “In fact, they seem to be underutilizing the system, given their health needs.”

Ortega’s study is not the first to find that illegal immigrants use fewer healthcare services than people born in the U.S. But his study used the largest sample, analyzing data from 42,044 participants of the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, a randomized telephone survey conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Department of Public Health.

And while other studies have attributed lower usage to immigrants simply being younger and healthier than the overall population, the study published Monday took into account age, health status, insurance status and poverty level. All such factors being equal, it found, immigrants still made fewer visits to physicians and were 30% less likely than U.S.-born Latinos to have a regular source of healthcare.

Dr. Felix Nu

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.