A report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal found that illegal aliens receiving dialysis treatment were costing the hospital more than $2 million per month. Nevada taxpayers are forced to pay for a situation that the report says "continues to worsen."
Officials say the lack of enforcing immigration laws is making a bad situation worse as the University Medical Center in Las Vegas looks to face a $70 million budgetary shortfall in 2010. They say attempts to encourage illegal aliens to receive the treatment in their home countries hasn't worked.
"The cost to our taxpayers is astronomical," said Lawrence Weekly, a Clark County commissioner and chairman of the UMC board of hospital trustees. "Many people are justifiably outraged. If this kind of thing goes on, we might have to close our doors. But we're governed by federal law on this issue so some way the federal government has to help us out. We just can't stand by and let people die in the streets. We wouldn't want that on our conscience."
The article says that a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said over the summer that Reid would push for increased funding for hospitals that helped illegal aliens, but the funding hasn't materialized.
For the full report, see the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Updated: Wed, Jan 27th 2010 @ 1:31pm EST