The administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on Florida’s hospitals to compile information on how much money they are spending to treat immigrants who have entered the country illegally.
Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller sent a letter on Thursday to Florida Hospital Association President and CEO Mary Mayhew pointing 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.”
Marstiller said AHCA was undertaking the effort to comply with an executive order from DeSantis from last September that asked the agency to find out the amount of taxpayer money spent on “illegal aliens in the state of Florida.”
Mayhew issued a statement late Thursday night saying the association had just received the letter and is “reviewing the request and communicating with our member hospitals.”
Marstiller noted in her letter to Mayhew that in 2009 the association examined the expenditures of 57 hospitals and found that they had more than $40 million in unpaid bills related to the treatment and care of “undocumented immigrants.”
“Given that FHA has performed similar calculations in the past, I would ask that you ensure your member hospitals are aware of these requirements and provide technical assistance in completing the data request,” Marstiller wrote.
Marstiller added that once the information is compiled, “the agency will make this information publicly available on our website, providing Floridians with a clear understanding of the financial impacts of paying for government services for illegal aliens.”
Hospitals have until May 23 to turn over the information to AHCA, which is also supposed to include the source of all costs and expenditures, including federal, state and local money.
“Given the significant impact of health care on the overall state budget, it is imperative that this request is completed timely and accurately, as I am sure you will emphasize to your members,” Marstiller added.
DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody have been sharply critical of the administration of President Joe Biden and his handling of immigration across the southern border. Florida has legally challenged the actions of the Biden administration, and the Governor pushed to include millions in the upcoming budget that pay the cost of transporting those who entered the country illegally to other states. DeSantis has repeatedly said he plans to ship people to Biden’s home state of Delaware.