Do Mexicans Cause the Closures of Hospitals?
DEAR READERS: My muchos apologies for this Best Of edition—I'm still in the rancho getting faded on the Herradura and stuffed with tamales, pozole, birria and empanadas. But this is an oldie-but-goodie even Art Laboe would appreciate: a 2007 piece ripping apart former CNN personality Lou Dobbs, who I hear does magic shows at Tea Party events now to pay the bills. Enjoy!
DEAR MEXICAN: Is Lou Dobbs right when he says that close to 80 hospitals in California have been closed because of the illegals, or is he lying?
Cabrónes No Necesitamos
DEAR CNN: Dobbs is right to a certain point—and only in spite of his idiocy. The father of two half-wabs spouted off his closed-hospitals claim at least three times: in a Dec. 11, 2006, interview with Charlie Rose; an Oct. 18, 2006, CNN broadcast (in which he incorrectly attributed the figure to a spring 2006 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine); and a May 1, 2006, special on that year's amnesty marches. During that May special, Dobbs said, "Well, just for the record, it's about 60 hospitals and clinics in California have had to close [because of uninsured illegal aliens], and in Texas. This is not a new phenomenon, and it's just one of the hidden costs that the national, the mainstream news media, hidebound by political correctness, doesn't want to deal with."
Know Nothing blogs, radio bros and activists repeat Dobbs' assertion as gospel, transforming it into an Alamo moment for those circles. Dobbs first discussed California's shuttered hospitals in a June 8, 2005, interview with Madeleine Cosman, who had just published the essay "Illegal Aliens and American Medicine" in the spring 2005 edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dobbs identified her as a "leading medical attorney," but the Southern Poverty Law Center later exposed her as little more than a résumé-padding racist who once said of Mexican immigrants, "Most of these bastards molest girls under 12, though some specialize in boys, and some in nuns."
Cosman's paper claimed that 60 California hospitals shut down between 1993 and 2003 and that "84 California hospitals are closing their doors," using a Sept. 24, 2004, Los Angeles Times article as citation for the latter stat. Problema is, Times reporter Jia-Rui Chong never wrote such a thing and didn't even mention immigrants in her piece. Cosman, by the way, is the same "expert" who claimed illegal immigrants introduced 7,000 leprosy cases to the United States over the past three years, a fallacy repeated as fact on Dobbs' show that he later retracted. And earlier this year , the pendejo stated on Lou Dobbs Tonight, "We would never have used [Cosman] as a source if we had known of her controversial background" when he aired her leprous lie.
The loco-est part of this mess is that both Cosman and her parakeet Dobbs have their figures relatively right: According to the California Hospital Association (CHA), 82 hospitals in the Golden State folded from 1996 to 2006. But in an August interview with The New England Journal of Medicine, CHA vice president of external affairs Jan Emerson noted, "It would not be fair to place the blame solely on undocumented immigrants, but certainly, they are a contributing factor." The article by contributing editor Susan Okie, M.D., also revealed that illegals make up only about 20 percent of the country's residents who lack medical insurance and about 10 percent of the "uncompensated care in California hospitals"—10 percent too much, sí, but hardly the invasion the now-dead Cosman and still-whining Dobbs want Americans to believe. Strangely, Dobbs has yet to mention Okie's article.
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