Feds to NY: Cut Off Chemo for Undocumented Residents
Compassionate conservatism at work again. The Bush Administration is telling New York health officials not to approve chemotherapy for undocumented residents because it's not a medical emergency.
The change comes amid a fierce national debate on providing medical care to immigrants, with New York State officials and critics saying this latest move is one more indication of the Bush administration’s efforts to exclude the uninsured from public health services.
Under a limited provision of Medicaid, the national health program for the poor, the federal government permits emergency coverage for illegal immigrants and other noncitizens. But the Bush administration has been more closely scrutinizing and increasingly denying state claims for federal payment for some emergency services, Medicaid experts said.
While states differ on what is or is not a medical emergency, it should be obvious that the states that define it as "any condition that could become an emergency or lead to death without treatment" is the proper one.
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