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Denver hospital system warns migrant crisis has forced it to brink of collapse

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The migrant crisis affecting Colorado has forced one Denver hospital system to warn local lawmakers it is on the “brink of collapse.” The financial pressures created by the migrant crisis are unsustainable, as Denver Health recorded some 20,000 visits from 8,000 Central American migrants in 2023 for everything from dental emergencies to mental health counseling, according to the Denver Post.

Denver estimates more than 36,000 illegal immigrants, most of whom are Venezuelan, have arrived in the city since December 2022. Roughly half of those migrants have decided to put down roots in the city.

Among the specific numbers include the hospital having lost $136 million in 2023 because of patients who didn’t pay, including millions of dollars on care for illegal immigrants that the state and federal governments declined to reimburse.

Last year, the migrant influx created a $2 million loss for the hospital system, following a $35 million loss the year before. “The system’s saving grace in 2023 was a $20 million boost it received from the state, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, and private donors”, the Denver Post reported.

Last year’s losses led the hospital to close 15 beds that would otherwise be used for patients needing psychiatric or addiction treatment and to reduce raises and postpone renovations. 

“If we were to have another year like [2022], it would have dire consequences,” Steve Federico, chief of government and community affairs for Denver Health, told the paper.

Denver Health CEO Donna Lynne appealed to Denver council members this week to increase the city’s financial support for the hospital system; the city already gives Denver Health approximately $30.8 million each year to cover the cost of patients who can’t pay.

“What I think is not being said is that Denver Health is at a critical, critical point, and that we need to take this up in 2024,” she said. “Because our costs exceed our revenues, we are turning down patients every day, particularly in the area of mental health and substance abuse.”

“While I have tremendous compassion for what’s going on, it’s heartbreaking, it’s going to break Denver Health,” she said.

City councilwoman Amanda Sawyer said the city can’t cover the cost for patients who don’t pay since not all of the system’s patients live in the city.

However, a proposed bill in the statehouse would see the state give Denver Health $5 million each year.

“I think the city of Denver should do more, but the state also has to step in,” the bill’s sponsor, state representative Judy Amabile, told the Denver Post. “Denver Health is the safety net provider for the whole state. They’re taking patients no one else will take.”

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Economy

Analysis: the 7.2 million illegals Biden has let enter the U.S. is larger than the population of 36 states

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For those who can’t comprehend the magnitude of what the Biden administration’s poor border policies have done, the nearly 7.3 million migrants who have illegally crossed the southwest border  on Biden’s watch is a greater amount than the population of 36 individual states.

A Fox News analysis looked at data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which shows the total number of southwest land border encounters since Biden assumed office in 2021 is 7,298,486. The CBP already reported 961,537 border encounters in the current fiscal year, which runs from October through September.

Fox News reports:

If the current pace of illegal immigration does not slow down, fiscal year 2024 will break last year’s record of 2,475,669 southwest border encounters — a number that by itself exceeds the population of New Mexico, a border state.

That is larger than the population of 36 U.S. states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The analysis found that compared to the largest U.S. states, the 7.3 million number is about 18.7% of California’s population of 39 million; 23.9% of the state of Texas and its 31 million residents; 32.3% of the population of Florida; and 37.3% of New York. It’s more than half the size of Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio.

Were the number of illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. under President Biden gathered together to found a city, it would be the second-largest city in America after New York. And the total does not include an estimated additional 1.8 million known “gotaways” who evaded law enforcement, which would make it bigger than New York.

This unprecedented surge in illegal immigration isn’t an accident. It is the result of deliberate policy choices by the Biden administration,” said Eric Ruark, Director of Research for Numbers USA, a nonprofit that advocates for immigration restrictions.

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