Though it violates both state and federal law, Massachusetts spent tens of millions of dollars to give illegal immigrants medical care—including prescription drugs, physical therapy and dental services—through its taxpayer-funded healthcare program for low-income individuals.
Tax-paying residents of the Bay State should be outraged, to say the least. The information comes straight out of a scathing report that contains the findings of an investigation conducted by Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump. It reveals that questionable or prohibited medical claims totaling $35,137,347 were reimbursed by the state’s Medicaid agency known as MassHealth. A chunk of it went to non-emergency services for illegal immigrants, according to the audit.
MassHealth costs are divided between the state and federal government to provide healthcare for the poor. Established regulations at both the federal and state level specifically forbid undocumented immigrants from receiving coverage for non-emergency treatment in government-funded Medicaid programs nationwide. Each year MassHealth doles out more than $10.8 billion so that 1.4 million eligible people—legal residents—who can’t afford medical treatment can access it. Of the more than $35 million that funded treatment for illegal aliens, $27.8 million went to inpatient and outpatient services, the probe found. The rest was spent on prescription drugs ($3.6 million), dental services ($1.7 million) and rehabilitation and physical therapy ($1.9 million).
The investigation covers a small period that runs from July 2011 to December 2012 so it only represents a snippet of the actual waste and violations. Evidently MassHealth officials know exactly what they’re doing and hide behind their own interpretation of federal and state rules, according to Bump, the state auditor. “In the course of the audit we saw that MassHealth regularly substituted its own judgment for that of the medical professional in determining whether to cover a service,” Bump said in a statement announcing her findings. “Based on our understanding of the plain language in the regulations, MassHealth Limited is paying for ineligible services, and the tab is costly.”
American taxpayers have long been stuck with the exorbitant cost of providing illegal immigrants with medical care. In fact, Judicial Watch has been reporting it for years, citing figures provided by state, federal and county governments. Besides spending billions of dollars annually as a nation to medically treat illegal aliens, here are a couple of exceptional cases reported by JW over the years; California, the state with the nation’s largest illegal immigrant population offers the demographic free organ transplants and the costly follow-up treatment required after the complicated surgery. In Scott County Minnesota the public paid for an incarcerated illegal alien’s $50,000 penis pump because it was billed as an “emergency” medical procedure. The list goes on and on.
The problem has gotten so out of control that a few years ago a Democratic congressman from Ohio introduced legislation requiring foreign countries to reimburse American taxpayers for the exorbitant medical expenses of illegal immigrants. The measure, known as the PAYBACK Act (Preventing All Your Bucks from Aiding non-Citizens is Key) was estimated to save the U.S. government billions annually and ensure that public funds were not used to finance healthcare services for illegal immigrants. The bill was referred to the House Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism for consideration but didn’t get very far after that.