Orlando, Florida. – After the passage of SB 1718 in Florida, federal health care providers, especially Medicaid, will collect information on undocumented individuals who serve them beginning July 1, 2023.
The state authorities will have this information every four months, since the health institutions must make a report accurately on how many undocumented people they have treated.
Hospitals will obtain this information from the hospital admission form. Said document must contain a disclaimer indicating that it does not affect the physician’s response to care. “The question must be followed by an affirmative response that does not affect the concern or the outcome of the patient’s immigration status report to the authorities,” the law reads.
However, this does not mean that undocumented people cannot come to receive services at the hospital, according to Kelly Vega, an immigration attorney.
“A hospital cannot deny medical services to a person because of their immigration status. This discrimination cannot happen, but they will be asked to provide information about your immigration status, but at the moment the hospital is not obliged to report the information immediately,” Vega explained.
According to SB 1718, hospitals must submit information every four months to calculate how much public money is spent or invested to provide medical services to undocumented persons.
“As DeSantis put it in the law, as he drafted it, it is only to keep track of how much money is used in undocumented people, and not with the intention of arresting a person or punishing them in the United States. It states irregularly,” the expert declared against the many doubts that have arisen about the method.
Vega emphasized that undocumented people should not be afraid to go to the shelter because “they are not going to be arrested and nothing will happen. That can only happen if you commit a crime. Also, he said that it is important for people to know that they have rights in the United States regardless of their immigration status, since anyone who physically he is in his country, he has natural rights.