TennCare spends $15M on illegal immigrants

According to a congressional field hearing on immigration's effects, Tennessee's TennCare has spent $15 million on emergency care for illegal immigrants this year. The cost of illegal immigration spills over into the private sector. Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) reports that the hospital loses $3.8 million a year treating illegal immigrants. By law, hospitals must provide emergency medical service to illegal immigrants regardless of their ability to pay. This means hospitals end up eating that cost. "We are morally and legally obligated to provide care for anyone who is in urgent need. But that moral commitment and legal requirement to care…has come to carry a significant price tag for hospitals and doctors alike," Gary R. Perrizo, the director of patient accounting at VUMC, told The City Paper.

- read the article from The City Paper