Free Health Care for Illegal Aliens Could Cost American Taxpayers up to $660B a Decade

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Providing free health care for all illegal aliens living in the United States could cost American taxpayers an additional $660 billion every decade in expenses.

This week, half of the 24 Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination confirmed that their healthcare plans would provide free health care to all illegal aliens at the expense of American taxpayers — including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research Steven Camarotta told Breitbart News that only rough estimates are available for what health care for illegal aliens will cost American taxpayers, and though a comprehensive study has yet to be conducted on this specific issue, taxpayers can expect to pay a “significant” amount.

“If we offered Medicaid for illegal immigrants, it is possible the costs could be over tens of billions of dollars,” Camarotta said. “However, it would depend on eligibility criteria as well as how many illegal immigrants actually sign up for program once it was offered. So while the actual costs are uncertain, the size would be significant for taxpayers.”

A reasonable estimate of health care for each illegal alien, Camarotta said, is about $3,000 — about half the average $6,600 that it currently costs annually for each Medicaid recipient. This assumes that a number of illegal aliens already have health insurance through employers and are afforded free health care today when they arrive to emergency rooms.

Based on this estimate, should the full 22 million illegal aliens be living in the U.S. that Yale University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have estimated there to be, providing health care for the total illegal population could cost American taxpayers about $66 billion a year.

Over a decade, based on the Yale estimate of the illegal population and assuming all sign up for free health care, this would cost American taxpayers about $660 billion.

Even if there are only 11 million illegal aliens living in the U.S., as the Pew Research Center and other analysts routinely estimate, American taxpayers would still have to pay a yearly bill of $33 billion a year to provide them all with free, subsidized health care.

Should only half of the illegal population get health care, it would cost American taxpayers about $16.5 billion a year — almost the price of what it currently costs taxpayers to provide subsidized health care to illegal aliens.

Today, Americans are forced to subsidize about $18.5 billion worth of yearly medical costs for illegal aliens living in the U.S., according to estimates by Chris Conover, formerly of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University.

Nearly every Democrat running for their party’s presidential nomination has endorsed having American taxpayers pay for free health care for illegal aliens. Those who have endorsed the plan include Biden, Sanders, Gillibrand, Buttigieg, and Harris, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), author Marianne Williamson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO).

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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