Russ Gibb at Random

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June 1, 2010

Just One Hospital
Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas , Texas is a fairly famous institution and for a variety of reasons:
1. John F. Kennedy died there in 1963
2. Lee Harvey Oswald died there shortly after
3. Jack Ruby-who killed Oswald, died there a few years later.
On the flip side, Parkland is also home to the second busiest maternity ward in the country with almost 16,000 new babies arriving each year. (That's almost 44 per day---every day)!
A recent patient survey indicated that 70 percent of the women who gave birth at Parkland in the first three months of 2006 were illegal immigrants. That's 11,200 anchor babies born every year just in Dallas!!!
According to the article, the hospital spent $70.7 million delivering 15,938 babies in 2004 but managed to end up with almost $8 million dollars in surplus funding. Medicaid kicked in $34.5 million, Dallas County taxpayers kicked in $31.3 million and the feds tossed in another $9.5 million.
The average patient in Parkland in maternity wards is 25 years old, married and giving birth to her second child. She is also an illegal immigrant. By law, pregnant women cannot be denied medical care based on their immigration status or ability to pay.
OK, fine. That doesn't mean they should receive better care than everyday, middle-class American citizens. But at Parkland Hospital , they do. " Parkland Memorial Hospital has nine prenatal clinics. NINE!!!
The Dallas Morning News article followed a Hispanic woman who was a patient at one of the clinics and pregnant with her third child---her previous two were also born at Parkland. Her first two deliveries were free and the Mexican native was grateful because it would have cost $200 to have them in Mexico. This time, the hospital wants her to pay $10 per visit and $100 for the delivery but she was unsure if she could come up with the money. Not that it matters, the hospital won't turn her away. (I wonder why they even bother asking at this point.)
"How long has this been going on? What are the long-term effects?
Well, another subject of the article was born at Parkland in 1986 shortly after her mother entered the US illegally - now she is having her own child there as well. (That's right; she's technically a US citizen.)
These women receive free prenatal care including medication, nutrition, birthing classes and child care classes. They also get freebies such as car seats, bottles, diapers and formula.
Most of these things are available to American citizens as well, but only for low-income applicants, and even then, the red tape involved is almost insurmountable.
Because these women are illegal immigrants, they do not have to provide any sort of legitimate identification - no proof of income. An American citizen would have to provide a social security number which would reveal their annual income - an illegal immigrant need only claim to be poor and the hospital must take them at their word.
Parkland Hospital offers indigent care to Dallas County residents who earn less than $40,000 per year. (They also have to prove that they did not refuse health coverage at their current job.. Yeah, the 'free' care is not so easy for Americans.)
There are about 140 patients who received roughly $4 million dollars for un-reimbursed medical care. As it turns out, they did not qualify for free treatment because they resided outside of Dallas County so the hospital is going to sue them! Illegal's get it all free! But U. S citizens who live outside of Dallas County get sued! How stupid is this?
As if that isn't annoying enough, the illegal immigrant patients are actually complaining about hospital staff not speaking Spanish.

In this AP story, the author speaks with a woman who is upset that she had to translate comments from the hospital staff into Spanish for her husband. The doctor was trying to explain the situation to the family and the mother was forced to translate for her husband who only spoke Spanish.. This was apparently a great injustice to her.
In an attempt to create a Spanish-speaking staff, Parkland Hospital is now providing incentives in the form of extra pay for applicants who speak Spanish.. Additionally, medical students at the University of Texas Southwestern for which Parkland Hospital is the training facility will now have a Spanish language requirement added to their already jammed-packed curriculum. No other school in the country boasts such a ridiculous multi-semester (multicultural) requirement.
(Sorry for the length, but this needs wide circulation particularly to our "employees" in Congress.)
Remember that this is about only ONE hospital in Dallas, Texas. There are many more hospitals across our country that must also deal with this.

If you want to verify the accuracy of this information:

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7 Comment(s)

Russ, When I was medical staff president, non-pay and Medicaid accounted for about 15% of the total admissions at Oakwood Hospital. I think this # is now about 20%. Because of the unique and severe nature of their illnesses, most of the best private rooms in the hospital were occupied by patients in this group. Even worse is the litigious nature of this group putting the hospital and physicians at inordinate risk for suit. Hospitals do not care for patients, doctors and of course nurses do. Nurses work for the hospital and receive their salaries regardless. When I read articles such as this, it always irks me that the physicians who care for these patients, are at personal risk because of the nature of the illnesses, receive no compensation, are then saddled with their care forever and exposed to inordinate legal liability are never recognized as the true care providers.
If the health care system is as screwed up as the economy and national security, I would suggest that big brother has primary culpability. Sincerely, Allan

--by Dr. Dobzyniak on 6/1/10   Lives: Michigan  

Political correctness has run amuck,in the USA.

--by Dan on 6/2/10   Lives: Detroit area  

Forget this blog -- here is hoping you get well soon.

--by bruno on 7/11/10   Lives: Dearborn  

Russ, we don't have to look to Texas. It is happening right here in Dearborn. Oakwood is pumping out 4500 - 5000 babies a year and meny are being paid for by tax dollars. Some mothers as young as 14 and 15 years old. And I don't want to know what percent is unwed.

--by milwood Fordson on 7/11/10   Lives: Dearborn  


My response to these facts is simply SO WHAT!

How can I become outraged any more? How can I be so disgusted, send Emails, make phone calls and write letters to my congress people when the entire country and its population has become so engrossed with their miniscule little pursuits, they simply don’t care!

Everyone sits back and as long as they get their I Pads, I Pods and fat laden fast food, no one cares anymore. We watch bean counters dismantle our education systems and we do nothing. The current generation of Americans (teenagers) have been allowed to have their minds erased by cable TV and popular culture so they are no longer capable of becoming outraged at anything. 1/2 of our kids are being quietly prepaired for military service through their PS3's and dont even know it yet. Our schools no longer invoke thought or concern, but consumerism and mindless obedience to government.

The entire country has become dummied down to the point where our attention can be diverted with next to no effort. Our food is devoid of nutritional value, the average American is 30lbs overweight an addicted to pain pills or anti-depressants. The ambient noise levels around us are so high, our brains have lost 20% of their capacity. We have become a country of mindless drooling idiots who elect the same old corrupt and incompetent people over and over again. Michigan is the WORST offender of doing this! We still have Grandholm, Levin, Cheeks Kilpatrick, Patterson and a host of other self important ego maniacs who push their own agendas, not worthwhile endeavors. If Kwamie could run right now, he would win!

We get exactly what we deserve in this country! A bleak future and no prospects because we are too God Damn lazy to think for ourselves and act in our best interests. Immigrants know this and God bless them, they are taking full advantage of it with our blessing! Who is to stop them? The only people who are getting attention over the Arizona immigration law is the other Mexicans protesting it, not the 85% of the other hard working Americans who totally support it! Why? Because they sit with their thumbs in their poop chute while the other illegal immigrants scream and spit at the cameras. How much further do we have to fall before people become so outraged that they take action and make their voices heard? This current generation of kids entering the workplace are a lost cause, and I see absolutely nothing in the pipe line. Why? Their parents allow their kids to be raised by Tella Tubbies and other morally disgusting and corrupt cartoons designed to simply shut their minds off.

--by Who cares? on 7/11/10   Lives: USA  

I'm a Dearborn resident in the Navy and am forward-deployed, living in Japan and I guess I have a very different perspective. Even in Japan, where almost no one speaks real english, the trains, buses, airports and even restaurants all over the contry have english translations for the tiny minority of english speakers. It's so good that even people from Texas can find their way around in Tokyo! They go out of their way to accomidate us because they think it is the polite thing to do. They want to welcome us to work and invest in Japan, despite most Japanese people being very racist towards foreigners and having some of the strictest immigration laws in the world. Most countries in Asia are like this. It seems very arrogant, to me, to say that everyone should have to know perfect English just to function inside America. My grandmother used to translate english to romanian to her parents when she was 8 years old. That made life for them very, very difficult. Our country has a history of being inclusive to minorities and foreigners, so I really don't like this kind of rhetoric. If it's the polite, accommidating and hospitable thing to do for people who are struggling to learn english, then why not do it? How does bi-lingual accommodation and more of an international appeal hurt America? As midwesterners, we have a reputation as the simplest, most polite and kind-hearted people in the country. Let's keep that going.

Likewise, hospitals cannot refuse patients for monetary reasons. This is because of ethics, plain and simple, and federal law enforces those ethics. No human being should die simply because they are poor. We do not live in a day and age where there are as many jobs as there are people, nor is our work directly tied to the land that brings us food and money. A career is a modern invention.

Most of the poor occupy intensive care units because they cannot afford simple doctor's appointments, so they end up waiting until they're nearly dying for simple illnesses and then taken there in ambulances. This is a great reason for universal health care, too. Would you rather pay the state pay $60 for a unemployed man's doctor appointment, or $3,000 for his hospital visit three weeks later? It just doesn't make sense. I would hope our hearts are bigger than our wallets.

Lastly, I just don't understand what the big issue is on immigration. If people want to come and work in America so much, desire so strongly to live and gain citizenship here, why be hostile towards them and create roadblocks? There is no race of Americans, no such thing as an American culture. We killed all those people off. Modern America is the open door policy. Let go of the bigotry and let's embrace the world. If that means a spanish or arabic translation next to english on a few labels at Wal-Mart, who cares?

We're better than this.

--by Brian Stone on 7/11/10   Lives: Dearborn  

This email, despite its hostile tone, is based mostly on the facts. Please see:
The hospital administrators make some good points in the information following the email, just to give some context.

--by RUserious? on 7/31/10   Lives: Dearborn  

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