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Public Statements

Help Border Healthcare

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. FILNER. Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce H.R. 1386, the Pay for All Your Undocumented Procedures (PAY UP!) Act of 2009. This bill will provide payments for emergency services provided to undocumented aliens.

The costs of uncompensated emergency care for undocumented immigrants are sky high and border area hospitals, physicians, and ambulance providers are choking on the costs that they have to eat. My bill, the Pay for All Your Undocumented Procedures (PAY UP!) Act of 2009, is the first step to solving this problem which is well known in border communities.

Undocumented aliens receive emergency services in a hospital and yet that hospital is not reimbursed for these services. My bill will ensure that the healthcare providers are reimbursed for the emergency services they provide.

My bill makes permanent a provision of the Medicare Modernization Act that provided payments to eligible providers for procedures for undocumented aliens. The bill authorizes $250 million a year to reimburse eligible providers for this care. Two-thirds of the funds are divided among the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their relative percentages of undocumented aliens, the last third is divided among the 6 states with the largest number of undocumented aliens.

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