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Indigent Medical Care
"Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country."
Book of Leviticus

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Memorial Hospital


Maricopa County
Indigent Medical Care

Justice Marshall Opinion
February 26, 1974
Seal Of The Supreme Court

Appellant Henry Evaro is an indigent suffering from a chronic asthmatic and bronchial illness. In early June 1971, Mr. Evaro moved from New Mexico to Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona. On July 8, 1971, Evaro had a severe respiratory attack and was sent by his attending physician to appellant Memorial Hospital, a nonprofit private community hospital. Pursuant to the Arizona statute governing medical care for indigents, Memorial notified the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that it had in its charge an indigent who might qualify for county care and requested that Evaro be transferred to the county's public hospital facility. In accordance with the approved procedures, Memorial also claimed reimbursement from the county in the amount of $1,202.60, for the care and services it had provided Evaro.

Under Arizona law, the individual county governments are charged with the mandatory duty of providing necessary hospital and medical care for their indigent sick. But the statute requires an indigent to have been a resident of the county for the preceding 12 months in order to be elibible for free nonemergency medical care.

...This court has held that whether or not a welfare program is federally funded is irrelevant to the applicability of the Shapiro analysis. Not unlike the admonition of the Bible that, "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country," Leviticus 24:22 (King James version), the right of interstate travel must be seen as insuring new residents the same right to vital government benefits and privileges in the states to which they migrate as are enjoyed by other residents.