A simple consultation of the Naturalization Act of 1790 will make quite clear who the founding fathers intended to be citizens of the United States and just whom the Bill of Rights protected.
Which brings us to the dystopia of 2017 Chicago. Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicago tells the story of the black contribution to Chicago, but a shocking new study of the cost of almost exclusively black (and brown) gun violence in the city shows just why we need to revert back to the founding fathers original intentions of both citizenships and who was covered by the Bill of Rights.
|Realistically, outlaw nonwhites from private firearm ownership (as founding fathers intended) and make the punishment for nonwhites possessing an illegally obtained firearm life in jail or worse|
Taxpayers (largely white taxpayers) shelled out "$447 million to treat some 12,000 documented victims of gun violence in the city [almost all black or brown people] between 2009 and mid-2016." [The bill for treating a gunshot wound: $21,000 for the first 35 minutes, Chicago Tribune, July 21, 2017]:
The charges started racking up the moment Annette Johnson arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital with a gunshot wound to her left forearm.
Doctors sliced open Johnson's arm and installed a $500 metal plate to shore up her shattered ulna, securing it with numerous bone screws that cost $246 apiece. There were morphine drips to quell pain, tetanus shots to prevent infection, blood screens and anesthesia.
For both Johnson and Leyva, just two of the thousands of gunshot victims in Chicago every year, the first hours and days of their hospital treatment were only the start of what would be costly recoveries that continue to this day.
Still, the bills for their initial treatment were staggering. In his first 35 minutes at the hospital, Leyva had racked up $21,521 in charges, and by the time he was released three weeks later the bill totaled more than $157,000. For Johnson, who spent barely 24 hours at Mount Sinai, the hospital charges approached $27,000.
An unprecedented analysis of state data by the Tribune reveals that the initial medical costs for treating Chicago gunshot victims like Johnson and Leyva add up to tens of millions of dollars each year. And those costs are rising.
The data — obtained by the Tribune after months of negotiation with public officials — show that Chicago-area hospitals billed more than $447 million to treat some 12,000 documented victims of gun violence in the city between 2009 and mid-2016.
And even that figure represents just a fraction of the total billed. While the hospitals charge for room and board as well as equipment and drugs, the surgeons, anesthesiologists and other medical professionals who treat gunshot victims in emergency rooms across the city typically bill separately.
The data show that the victims who bear the physical and emotional scars of being shot live mostly in economically depressed and racially segregated neighborhoods.
But the financial burden of caring for survivors of gunshot wounds extends well beyond neighborhood boundaries, according to the Tribune analysis.
In fact, patients who live in poverty and are insured through the publicly funded Medicaidand Medicare programs account for nearly half of the costs analyzed by the Tribune.
Dr. Amir Vafa, chief of trauma surgery and critical care at Mount Sinai, said the violence has ripple effects that touch on every aspect of the city in some way regardless of where it happens.
"It is not a 'me' or a 'you.' It's an 'us,'" Vafa said in an interview at the hospital, which serves largely black and Hispanic neighborhoods on the city's West Side. "We are all in this together. The reality is the entire fabric of society is connected, right? Nobody lives in an absolute bubble."
Putting an accurate price tag on what it costs to treat all victims of gun violence in Chicago is nearly impossible. Hospitals aren't required to note whether they've treated victims of firearm assaults, and the powerful gun lobby has successfully stifled research on gun violence at the federal level. Privacy laws also limit the types of data that the government is willing to release.
The data released to the Tribune represent more than 11,800 patient visits involving gunshot victims in Chicago, only an estimated two-thirds of the known shooting victims during the 7 1/2-year time frame studied.
The figures also don't reflect the amount ultimately paid by patients or taxpayers — a fraction of what the hospitals billed.
Private insurance companies negotiate payments based on treatment, and patients who pay out-of-pocket or have no insurance also can negotiate. Medicaid and Medicare pay using a set fee schedule for procedures and hospital stays.
All together, the Tribune conservatively estimated that hospitals typically get paid about 30 percent of what they bill.
The data indicate that charges from area hospitals rose significantly over the 7 1/2-year span.
Hospital charges in 2009 for patients admitted in Chicago totaled $41.6 million. In 2015, the last complete year of data, hospital charges added up to a combined $62 million. Many categories of charges contributed to that increase, including charges for operating rooms and anesthesiology, both of which more than doubled.
Back in 2009, gunshot inpatients in Chicago averaged about $57,963 in charges for their hospital stay. Through the first half of last year, inpatients racked up $93,647 on average in hospital charges.
Illinois' hospital charging data also indicate that inpatient stays grew longer, most likely a factor in the escalating charges.
For each year since 2009, the average length of stay in a Chicago hospital for victims of a firearm assault hovered at about a week. For similar inpatients treated in the first half of 2016, the length of stay grew to more than nine days on average.
The breakdown in the types of insurance used by hospital inpatients makes clear that the financial burden of the medical costs associated with gun violence often falls on taxpayers, not the victims.
Nearly half of the amount for treating inpatients after a firearm assault was billed to taxpayer-funded Medicaid and, less often, Medicare. Less than one-quarter of inpatients were insured through commercial insurance or HMOs, and others either were self-pay or insured in some other way.
The data are further confirmation of how skewed gun violence is along racial and socio-economic lines. Nearly two-thirds of the hospital inpatients treated for injuries suffered as a result of firearm assault were black males ages 15 to 44, the data showed.Sorry Chicago Tribune, but the data doesn't "show that the victims who bear the physical and emotional scars of being shot live mostly in economically depressed and racially segregated neighborhoods."
It shows gun violence is almost exclusively committed in areas devoid of white people, and that in areas devoid of nonwhites, there is almost no gun violence.
And yet, taxpayers (largely white taxpayers) shelled out "$447 million to treat some 12,000 documented victims of gun violence in the city [almost all black or brown people] between 2009 and mid-2016."
$447 million would pay for significant infrastructure improvements to the city of Chicago (making it a more attractive place for middle-class families), instead of being allocated to pay for the medical costs of nonwhites inability to stop shooting one another... all mind you, in the absence of white people.
This is just one city, a micro look at where nonwhite gun violence and the costs to medically care for nonfatal gunshot victims (as in Chicago, these are almost axiomatically nonwhite), are reaching fiduciary insanity.
Memphis, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit, Milwaukee... we are talking in the billions each year of taxpayer money misappropriated to pay for the folly of 2nd Amendment rights being extended to nonwhites.
Never mind many of these nonfatal shooting incidents in Chicago involve an illegal obtained gun - only showing how superfluous strict gun laws are in stopping the proliferation of firearms by criminals - because our founding fathers were quite explicit upon who 2nd Amendment rights protected.
Just consult the Naturalization Act of 1790.
In the meantime, keep paying your taxes: medical bills for nonwhite victims of nonwhite, nonfatal gun crime are piling up, up and up!