Ask a Mexican

Thats Sick!

Dear Mexican: Is Lou Dobbs right when he says that close to eighty hospitals in California have been closed down because of the illegals, or is he lying?
Cabrones No Necesitamos

Dear CNN: Dobbs is right to a certain point, and only in spite of his idiocy. The father of two half-wabs has spouted off his closed-hospitals claim at least three times: in a December 11, 2006 interview with Charlie Rose; an October 18, 2006, CNN broadcast (where he incorrectly attributed the figure to a spring 2006 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine); and a May 1, 2006, special on that year's amnesty marches, when he said, "Well, just for the record, it's about sixty hospitals and clinics in California have had to close.... This is not a new phenomenon, and it's just one of the hidden costs that the national, the mainstream news media, hide-bound by political correctness, doesn't want to deal with." Know Nothing blogs, radio bros and activists repeat Dobbs's assertion as gospel, transforming it into an Alamo moment for those circles.

Dobbs first discussed California's shuttered hospitals in a June 8, 2005, interview with Madeleine Cosman, who had just published "Illegal Aliens and American Medicine," an essay in the spring 2005 edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dobbs identified her as a "leading medical attorney," but the Southern Poverty Law Center later exposed her as little more than a resumé-padding racist who once said of Mexican immigrants, "Most of these bastards molest girls under twelve, though some specialize in boys, and some in nuns." Cosman's essay claimed that sixty California hospitals had shut down between 1993 and 2003 and that "84 California hospitals are closing their doors," using a September 24, 2004, Los Angeles Times article as citation for the latter stat. Problema is, Times reporter Jia-Rui Chong never wrote such a thing and didn't even mention immigrants in her piece. Cosman, by the way, is the same "expert" who claimed illegal immigrants introduced 7,000 leprosy cases to the United States over the past three years, a fib repeated as fact on Dobbs's show that he later retracted. Earlier this year, the pendejo stated on Lou Dobbs Tonight, "We would never have used [Cosman] as a source if we had known of her controversial background."

The loco-est part of this mess is that both Cosman, who passed away recently, and her parakeet Dobbs had their figures relatively right: According to the California Hospital Association (CHA), 82 hospitals in the Golden State folded between 1996 and 2006. But in an August interview with New England Journal of Medicine contributing editor Susan Okie, CHA vice president of external affairs Jan Emerson noted, "It would not be fair to place the blame solely on undocumented immigrants, but certainly, they are a contributing factor." Okie's article also revealed that illegals make up only about 20 percent of the country's residents who lack medical insurance, and about 10 percent of the "uncompensated care in California hospitals." That's 10 percent too much, , but hardly the invasion that Dobbs wants Americans to believe.