we deny health care to undocumented immigrants, can we save money?
By Samuel Metz, MD, 13 July 2013
Let’s break this into specific questions.
the cost of immigrant health care exceed what they pay?
Immigrants subsidize care for native-born Americans. Medicare receives more in payments from immigrants than it spends on immigrant care, an annual excess of $16 billion [Zallman 2013]. For Social Security, immigrants generated an excess of $12 billion in payroll taxes for benefits they are ineligible to enjoy [Goss 2013].
immigrant health care more expensive than that of native-born
The total cost of providing health care to all immigrants is estimated at $39 billion annually [Mohanty 2005]. This figure is less than 2% of the $2.6 trillion spent by all Americans. Of the approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants in the US, nearly 40% were covered by private insurance [Preston 2011]. The six million undocumented immigrants who were uninsured consumed $4.3 billion in health care, a mere $716 per person annually [Camarota 2009]. This is less than one tenth that consumed by native born Americans [Keehan 2011].
All studies looking at this issue determined that immigrants, both documented and otherwise, consumed less health care per person per year than native born Americans [Goldman 2006, Berk 2002; Mohanty 2005; Ku 2009; Stimpson 2010].