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Here’s something about undocumented immigrants that hasn’t been reported very often. They are far less likely to use emergency room services than U.S. citizens. 

That actually ought be a cause for concern, but also is another example of the distortions in the debate about immigrants and health care reform.  Here are the numbers from the Kaiser Family Fund.

In 2006, 20% of U.S. citizen adults and 22% of U.S. citizen children had visited the emergency room within the past year. In contrast, 13% of noncitizen adults and 12% of noncitizen children had utilized emergency room care.

That information is part of a fact sheet (.pdf) about health care and undocumented immigrants from the Immigration Policy Center that refutes  a lot the misleading claims in the health care debate.

Let’s hope facts still matter.

One Comment


  1. Rob Schofield

    October 1, 2009 at 9:21 am

    That’s a good one — both for the point abou immigrants AND what would seem to be an amazing oversuse of emergency rooms. One in five people in one year?! If that isn’t further proof that our current system of delivering care to the uninsured is absurd I don’t know what is.

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