Florida Bears $566M Burden in Unpaid Medical Bills for Illegal Immigrants

Medical treatment for illegal immigrants has cost Floridian taxpayers more than $566 million this year. Last May, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1718, which obliges hospitals to track and publish immigrant costs. Figures released on April 30 show that expenses are rising and medical facilities are struggling.

For example, Manatee Memorial Hospital CEO Tom McDougal told a county meeting that his facility received $2.7 million from the taxpayer last year but paid out a staggering $21.2 million to treat uninsured patients, the majority of whom are illegal immigrants. That figure was up from $14.4 million the previous year.

State-wide, costs are likewise shooting up. Broward County reports spending more than $43 million on illegal migrants in 2024 alone, while Duval has lost $31 million, Hillsborough $58 million, Orange County has spent $58 million, and Miami-Dade $231 million.

The Sunshine State is not alone, and similar figures are seen across the country. Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona, for instance, spent $26 million between December 2021 and November 2022, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said his state has paid out as much as $90 million. The figure is even higher in Illinois, at an estimated $1.1 billion in 2022.

In a report last March from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the estimated national bill for illegal immigrants was $23 billion annually. FAIR said the enormous figure comprises uninsured treatments for the roughly 8 million illegal immigrants living in the US and additional Medicaid fraud costing just under $8 billion.

Additionally, FAIR reported that Medicaid funded 48% of births to foreign-born mothers. The organization insisted that its final figure of $23 billion was likely a vast underestimate and said they calculated the sums conservatively.

Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy addressed the issue on a visit to the southern border last summer and claimed that maternity wards in Arizona were so packed with illegal immigrants that American moms-to-be were forced to reschedule their delivery dates.