Ron DeSantis accused of 'weaponizing' hospital data about costs of treating undocumented patients

Ron DeSantis
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. William Buchanan)

The Ron DeSantis administration is being accused of potentially “weaponizing” data after a top Florida health official ordered hospitals across the state to provide information on how much they spend each month caring for undocumented immigrants.

“This is really just red-meat politics, Our hospitals have been serving undocumented individuals for years,” Democratic State Rep. Nick Duran said, the Tampa Bay Times reports. “This isn’t some new trend. And it feels like (DeSantis) is going to try to weaponize the data to show that undocumented (immigrants) are pouring into our health care system.”

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller, in a Thursday letter, warned about “hardworking Floridians pay[ing] the price, footing the bill” for the medical care of undocumented immigrants.

That letter, sent to Florida Hospital Association President and CEO Mary Mayhew, pointed “out that regulators earlier this week asked all licensed hospitals to figure all costs and expenditures and ‘report any uncollected debt calculations related to the health care of illegal aliens.'”

It comes within hours of Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott promising to try to get the extremist U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a 40-year-old ruling, ironically against the state of Texas, that found state governments must pay for the education of all students attending public schools. Abbotts wants to be able to block undocumented children from going to school.

The Times adds that in September, “DeSantis signed an executive order directing state agencies to, among other things, issue a monthly report on the number of ‘illegal aliens’ who have been criminally charged and account for taxpayer dollars spent caring for immigrants who entered the country illegally.”

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