Kathy Posner

I have been hospitalized twelve times in the past ten years. Because of my vascular problems, I pay a hefty health insurance premium and a huge deductible. Money I had been saving for my old-age is being used to help keep me alive now. I worked very hard to earn the money, but understand how fortunate I am to have the cash to pay the hospital bills. I am no charity case. Not so with the circumstances surrounding the hospital stay of Barbara Latasiewicz, who has been living the last two years in one of the biggest rooms in Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. I would have sympathy with Latasiewicz’s ordeal after her stroke if she were not an illegal immigrant and had no family. But she does have family who visits her regularly, but do not take any responsibility for her care.

When I read the story of Latasiewicz, on the front page of the Chicago Tribune, I was outraged on a number of levels.

(1) Being a former public relations executive, I immediately realized that this was an obviously a “fluff” PR piece that the Adventist communications staff had pitched to the newspaper to make the hospital look good. Currently there are discussions in Illinois about hospitals losing certain charitable deductions and starting to have to pay for municipal water bills, etc. So I picture the hospital lobbyists sitting with the marketing people saying, “Do you have any stories to make the hospital look charitable? We need to help influence lawmakers through stories in the media.” And some PR person said, “I think there is some Polish lady that has been living here a long time. Why don’t we go for that one? Everybody agreed and today, they are probably still high-fiving each other with the impression that they made the hospital look good through its “generosity.”

(2) Latasiewicz came to America in 1990 with her son, using a temporary visa, and she stayed past its expiration. She is a self-proclaimed illegal immigrant. She told the Tribune, "He started school, and I had to stay. I didn't want to leave him by himself." She did not flee her native country because of persecution, war or famine, she just wanted to stay. Because of her illegal status, she is not eligible for Medicare or other public funds. So the hospital has to provide her care without recompense. Free care drives up hospital costs for the rest of us.

(3) The story said, “She was declared a ward of the state after the hospital found she was not capable of managing or making decisions about her health, finances and future.” So now taxpayers--something Latasiewicz never was-- are responsible for taking care of her. So I, a taxpayer, have to help support a non-taxpayer who is also an illegal immigrant!

(4) Peter, the very son she moved to America with, has declined to help take care of his Mother financially because he has his own family now. If her own son does not choose to care for his Mother, why should I? What does Zygmunt Matynia the Polish Consular General in Chicago say about the case? He said the consulate has not been involved and if she went back to Poland “he didn't know what benefits she'd qualify for in Poland because she hasn't worked in the country for two decades.” So her own native country won’t take care of her, but Americans are expected to? The bill for her care up to this point is more than $1 million.

(5) The Tribune story said that she is well enough to leave the hospital, but with nowhere to go because she is an “undocumented” (Their word, not mine) immigrant. "She's in limbo. There's really no options for her at this point," said Tam Tran, Latasiewicz's guardianship representative from the Illinois state guardian's office. "We know she's more appropriate for a nursing home setting, but this is the only option: to reside at La Grange Memorial Hospital." She does have a place to go! Poland—where she is a citizen.

(6) The final source of my outrage about this case were some lines from the story talking about her hospital stay, “Like a hostess in her own home, Barbara Latasiewicz offers visitors beverages from the minifridge given to her by hospital staff one Christmas.” And that the staff plans to mark her second anniversary this week with a party. What!? The hospital staff is having a party to celebrate her anniversary of two years as a freeloader!? Oh puhleeze!

Latasiewicz is well enough to leave the hospital but says she has no place to go, so she continues to stay. My condo is up for sale and when I sell it I plan on moving into Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Fabulous views of Lake Michigan from the rooms, three hot meals a day and flat screen TV. No phone, cable or electric bills to pay and all the visitors I want. With my laptop computer and minifridge for Diet Coke, it will just be like home. Only cheaper because I will not pay a dime. Oh, wait. I am a citizen, so I don’t qualify for the freeloader’s program.

James Edstrom's Note: I must say, I agree with Kathy Posner on this one. The few times I have ended up in the emergency room, I wait 10 hours behind illegal immigrant's who use our system to get everything. There is something very wrong here.

They come here illegally and they have kids, and all their children get our benefits. They go to our schools because we are not allowed to ask immigration status, and no matter what anyone says, they take our jobs. I am so tired of hearing that they do the jobs that Americans do not want. One example is waiter and busboy jobs. One look around New York City, you can see all these people from other countries working as waiters or busboys, not just the dishwasher jobs that everyone would like to believe they have. Look at the construction business and the meat packing industry. These used to be good union jobs for Americans, now they are filled by illegal immigrants. My cousin who is in construction, says he can not compete, because he will not hire illegals, and the companies that do, pay low wages and then can outbid the companies that hire legal. Look what has popped up in almost every town. Sections where illegal aliens sit and wait for construction bosses to pull up and hire them for a day, for very low wages and long hours.

I am not anti immigration. Most of these people work very hard. I know, because years ago I was a waiter when I was trying to make it in the celebrity photo business, and I watched how hard they work and I became friends with many of them. But these businesses are taking advantage of illegal immigrants who need too feed themselves and their family. They are also taking advantage of the American public, because they pay no taxes and they use our healthcare systems, our medicaid programs for their children and countless other things. We need to make the fines for businesses that hire them huge, not these little fines that are in place now. We also need to figure out a way to make them legal so they pay taxes into our system like everyone else. When will our politicians wake up and stop thinking about their next election.

I wrote this once before. Years ago when I was waiting on tables a busboy said one day his people will own our country. I laughed and asked him why. He said, because we come here and we have so many children here and we will own everything. How true this is turning out!

Read More From Planet Posner Here......