Is Lou Dobbs Lying about Hospital Closings?
Is Lou Dobbs right when he says that close to 80 hospitals in California have been closed down because of the illegals, or is he lying?
Cabrones No Necesitamos
Dobbs is right to a certain point, and only in spite of his idiocy. The father of two half-wabs 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. In the May interview, Dobbs said, "Well, just for the record, it's about 60 hospitals and clinics in California have had to close for [because of uninsured illegal aliens], and in Texas. This is not a new phenomenon, and it's just one of the hidden costs that the national, the mainstream news media, hidebound 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 résumé-padding racist who once said of Mexican immigrants, "Most of these bastards molest girls under 12, though some specialize in boys, and some in nuns." Cosman's paper claimed that 60 California hospitals 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.
The loco-est part of this mess is that both Cosman and her parakeet Dobbs have their figures relatively right: According to the California Hospital Association, 82 hospitals in the Golden State folded from 1996 to 2006. But in an August interview with New England Journal of Medicine contributing editor Susan Okie, M.D., 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" — 10 percent too much, sí, but hardly the invasion the now-dead Cosman and Dobbs want Americans to believe. Strangely, Dobbs has yet to mention Okie's article.
Why do Mexicans love writing songs about Mexico, Mexicans, mi tierra, etc.? "Soy Puro Mexicano," "Como México No Hay Dos," "México Lindo y Querido," for instance. It starts with the national anthem, which every Mexican knows — that is, if they're lucky enough to finish fourth grade. It helps brainwash Mexicans into being some of the strongest patriots in the world, with little justification. Want to burn a flag in Mexico? Better call the mortuary. Maybe they were patriotic and the songs came later. So what came first, the patriot or the chant?
Pensive in Mero Pasadena
"America the Beautiful," "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," "God Bless the USA," "The Yankee Doodle Boy," "Stars and Stripes Forever," "God Bless America," "The Star-Spangled Banner," "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue" — did I miss any?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.