CA struggles with transplant costs for illegal immigrants

Without a doubt, transplants are an extremely costly business. The question is, can states and counties afford to provide them for illegal immigrants in addition to their own citizens? In California, they're grappling with this issue, one thrown in to particular relief given the high volume of immigrants and the demand for high-prestige institutions in big cities there. 

California handles the issue of medical coverage for the indigent--including illegal aliens--by providing state-funded healthcare for children until they're 21. At that point, the county where the person lives is supposed to pick up the tab. The thing is, some counties can't afford the tab for procedures like a liver transplant, which costs almost $490,000 for the transplant itself and the first year of follow-up, not to mention $30,000 annually in medications. 

Meanwhile, given that there's often many more people seeking transplants than there are donor organs, some critics are saying that the state should not allow illegal immigrants to receive such organs ahead of citizens. It's a highly charged political issue, and one that isn't likely to be resolved anytime soon, observers say.

To learn more about California's transplant concerns:
- read this Los Angeles Times article

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