A. Before a hospital admits a person for nonemergency care, a hospital admissions officer must confirm that the person is a citizen of the United States, a legal resident of the United States or lawfully present in the United States. The admissions officer may use any method prescribed in section 1-501 to verify citizenship or legal status.What could possibly go wrong? Stock up on your tripe, cilantro, and limes now, because I have the feeling that self-medicating with menudo is suddenly going to sound like a safer bet to a lot of people than actually going to the hospital to be harassed. This will be filed in the Great Moments in Public Health textbook right after George W. Bush marveling on the campaign trail at the wonderful US medical system that has led to thousands of people using the emergency room as their primary healthcare provider. Well, it should be a lot less crowded now in Arizona emergency rooms, what with uninsured low-income people, many of whom are Latino, (1) being scared shitless to use their only and last resort for getting treatment and then conveniently (2) dying off at an accelerated clip.
B. If the admissions officer determines that the person does not meet the requirements of subsection A of this section, the admissions officer must contact the local federal immigration office.
C. If the hospital provides emergency medical care pursuant to federal requirements to a person who does not meet the requirements of subsection A of this section, on successful treatment of the patient the admissions officer must contact the local federal immigration office.
D. A hospital that complies with the requirements of this section is not subject to civil liability.
Maybe (1) and (2) above are Russell Pearce's eight-dimensional chess game gambit for solving the funding problem that has left southern Arizona with exactly one Level One trauma center and sorely overworked emergency departments in the hospitals that are still open. Hey, he got his, and you know what that means for everybody else. This just formalizes things.
Whatever will next week bring? I shudder to think.