Taxpayers footing the bills for illegal immigrants
by News Channel 8's Alan Cohn
Team 8 Investigates
Posted Nov. 13, 2007
Danbury (WTNH) _ A Team 8 investigation has uncovered information about the cost of caring for illegal immigrants at Danbury Hospital.
Wilson Hernandez has been visiting his friend at the Intensive Care Unit at Danbury Hospital for three weeks now. The friend, who does not want to be identified, is uninsured and is an illegal alien from Ecuador.
“He got hit by a car,” said Hernandez. “He is in a coma. Doctors are telling us he has no chance of recovering.”
And with every passing day, the already staggering bill mounts and Danbury Hospital will be paid by your tax dollars.
“Regardless what my personal opinion might be on the issue, my professional responsibility is to be sure we are meeting the needs of the community,” said the CEO of Danbury Hospital, Frank Kelly. “When they come to the emergency room, we are obligated under law to treat those patients.”
But how much does it really cost Danbury Hospital to care for illegal aliens? Opponents of illegal immigration have not been able to cite actual figures until now. Team 8 has obtained a financial statement from Danbury Hospital and it shows that in the first two quarters of last year, they treated a total of 321 aliens at a cost of almost $4-million.
Only three of those patients were covered by insurance and only one paid their $7,722 bill in full. State aid, meaning taxpayers, paid over 71-percent of the tab, or about $2.5 million.
Elise Marciano is the president of the Anti-Illegal Immigration Group in Danbury. “That is so incredible that our taxpayers money that this hospital is spending on people who shouldn't even be here,” she said.
Frank Kelly says he understands how illegal immigration opponents feel about the staggering numbers. “Thank goodness I don't have to deal with that issue. We're in the health care business and our goal is to focus on health care,” he said.
The price tag is fodder for illegal immigration opponents who take issue with the costs to taxpayers when it comes to education, city services and health care.
“It all accounts to the taxpayers and the people who work in this state that this is what our money is being paid for and we have people who need it in the state far more than people who don't belong here,” Marciano said.
Meanwhile, Hernandez is grateful that Danbury Hospital is not asking questions, just providing care to his friend.