How Illegal Immigrants Are Getting Obamacare Benefits

(Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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When Obamacare was written it was designed so that illegal immigrants wouldn’t get federally subsidized health care, but counties across the country still have programs providing care to uninsured illegal aliens.

“If federal programs exclude people who live here and get sick here, then someone has to care for them,” says George Leventhal, a Democratic council member in Montgomery County, Md. to The Wall Street Journal.

A decade ago the county started an initiative to provide health services to uninsured illegal immigrants. Leventhal said, “we all pay anyway.”

This is the feeling of many county leaders across the country. Laws require hospitals to take in and screen any patient who shows up to their emergency rooms. Non-emergency visits to the emergency room are frequented by the uninsured and nearly 30 percent of the uninsured in the United States are illegal aliens.

César Palacios, is the director of Montgomery County’s program to provide care to illegals, and said, “we are saving money to the system by doing this.” He added, “if we don’t pay now when it is easy money, we are going to pay later on.”

Of the top 25 counties with the highest illegal alien population, only five don’t offer public health programs to these illegal immigrants. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Wants To Use Obamacare For Illegal Immigrants)

In Los Angeles County, more than 1 million uninsured illegal immigrants are the beneficiaries of a county health program. The estimated cost of these programs for the 20 counties that provide the non-emergency care is over $1 billion. In New York City alone, the care for over 200,000 illegal aliens cost $400 million.

These programs treat illnesses ranging from diabetes to anxiety disorders and rely heavily on local funds along with donations. In Los Angeles, illegal immigrants participating in their health program get an ID card and a brochure explaining how to gain access to screenings.

States have flexibility over extending Medicaid eligibility to illegal aliens, and 16 have programs covering illegal immigrants.

In California they have the “Health for All Kids Act” which at a cost of $132 million a year to the state covers all uninsured illegal alien children.

In Oklahoma, pregnant illegal immigrant woman receive pre-natal care for their anchor babies. The name of the program is “Soon to be Sooners.”