Healthcare for Illegal Aliens in DHS Custody Costs Taxpayers $324M a Year as Over 30M Americans Go Uninsured
American taxpayers are footing a $324 million annual bill to provide healthcare services to illegal aliens in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, a new report finds, even as more than 30 million Americans continue to go uninsured.
In ICE’s year-end report, the agency revealed that “providing medical care, including mental healthcare, to all detained” illegal aliens cost taxpayers about $324 million in Fiscal Year 2022.
The report notes:
In FY 2022, [ICE Health Service Corps] operating budget approached $324 million. During this time, it provided direct care – including medical and dental health services – to over 118,000 noncitizens housed at 19 IHSC-operated facilities throughout the United States, which exceeded 1.1 million visits over the course of the fiscal year. IHSC also oversaw compliance with healthcare-related detention standards for more than 120,500 noncitizens housed in 163 non-IHSC-staffed facilities. [Emphasis added]
Healthcare for detained illegal aliens is a rising cost for taxpayers. In Fiscal Year 2021, the cost totaled $316 million, indicating an increased cost of about $8 million year-to-year.
Meanwhile, more than 30 million Americans still do not have health insurance, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, including 27.5 million working-age adults.
The number of Americans without health insurance does not capture the tens of millions of working and middle class Americans who are insured but who struggle to cover costs and often put off doctor and dentist visits as a result.
Already, taxpayers are forced to subsidize at least $18.5 billion of annual medical costs for illegal aliens living in the United States, according to estimates by Chris Conover, formerly of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University.
When American voters were polled by CNN on the issue in July 2019, nearly 6-in-10 said they were opposed to forcing taxpayers to provide free health benefits to illegal aliens, including 63 percent of swing voters and 61 percent of self-described “moderates.”