‘It’s unsustainable’: Unpaid medical bills from illegal immigrants leave Arizona hospital with a $20M tab

The president of a border town hospital in Arizona says the current business model in place to handle the overwhelming influx of illegal migrants is “unsustainable” as his medical center struggles to make up for the $20 million worth of unpaid services it has accrued over the past six months.

Yuma Regional Medical President Dr. Robert Transchel says everyone, regardless of immigration status, receives the same level of care, but when it comes to collecting payments for services rendered, the migrants are often nowhere to be found.

(Video: Fox News)

And the medical center isn’t just treating the migrants for a case of the sniffles, said Transchel. There are a whole host of medical issues that need to be treated and chronic illnesses that have gone without medical attention.

“People always think they’re coming in with coughs and colds, but that’s not really the case,” the doctor told “Fox & Friends” co-host Will Cain on Friday. “You have individuals come in that need dialysis, that need heart surgery, that need cardiac catheterization. We’ve had women come into our labor and delivery unit that have delivered infants that need to be in the neonatal ICU for sometimes months at a time.”

It’s yet another example of the chaos caused by the Biden administration’s refusal to deal with the border crisis — one that will certainly get much worse when Title 42, a Trump-era policy that restricts the number of eligible asylum-seekers during the COVID pandemic, finally expires.

While Transchel said that state and federal officials are “sympathetic” to his hospital’s situation, he noted that “nobody is offering a payer source for these individuals.”

“It’s an unsustainable business model to have your expenses increased by an external entity consistently and increasingly without any concomitant revenue source,” he said.

Unlike the residents of the doctor’s community, migrants are often bussed far from their point of entry into the States, with many shuttled out-of-state to “transportation hubs” such as Denver and as far away as New York City.

Often the migrants don’t even know their final destination.

“We don’t know where the migrants are going to end up,” Transchel said. “We don’t know where they go. We don’t know if the name is correct. And we just don’t know any of these things.”

Obviously, this poses a problem for the hospital, as they are unable to send a bill to the migrants after they’ve been treated.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) described the situation and the Senate’s passage of a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that fails to address it, as “insanity.”


(Video: Fox News)

“President Biden doesn’t care about that because he knows the solution is closing the border, and he doesn’t want to,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”

“This is something that could be and should be addressed in the government funding bill. And it’s not,” he continued. “In fact, this omnibus that’s coming up today actually makes it harder to secure our border.”

“No new funding for our Border Patrol agents,” he stated, “but they actually give money to foreign countries to secure their border and other parts of the world. This is insanity.”

According to Fox News’s Griff Jenkins, as of Dec. 22, total migrant encounters reached 575,409.

For perspective, in 2021, the state of Wyoming had a population of 578,803.

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