Immigration

Health ‘Reform’ Covers Illegal Aliens

President Obama, along with others pushing health reform legislation, claims — loudly and repeatedly — that illegal aliens aren’t covered in their bill.

But illegal aliens and other immigrants will in fact get taxpayer-funded health care.

“This has been an example of just pure misinformation out there,” President Obama recently asserted on a radio program.  “None of the bills that have been voted on in Congress, and none of the proposals coming out of the White House propose giving coverage to illegal immigrants — none of them.”

He repeated the calumny in his weekly radio address.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN, “No, illegal immigrants are not covered by this plan [H.R. 3200].”

And many of the legislative automatons are parroting this talking point.

Does this “trust me” approach assure you that your tax dollars are safe from undeserving foreigners?

These assurances haven’t convinced serious-minded lawmakers.  

The ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley, sees loopholes in the various bills.  Sen. Grassley is the leading Republican negotiator in the only truly bipartisan effort to craft a truly bipartisan reform bill.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, who also serves on Finance, expressed similar concerns.  “It’s a logical question for people to ask,” he said. “In the last couple of bills … there were efforts to ensure that only eligible people would get the benefits … those efforts were defeated by Democrats. … That illegal immigrants get care … [is] a big burden on hospitals.”

The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, said, “[T]he bill contains no provisions preventing illegal immigrants from participating in the Health Insurance Exchange that is to be created, including the government-run ‘public plan’ that will be available through the federally-run and federally-subsidized exchange. This is in direct conflict with the president’s claim that illegal immigrants will not be insured under his plan.”

Proponents have been quick to cite H.R. 3200’s Section 246:  “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”

But the blood on this bloody shirt is merely ketchup.  The same goes for the Space amendment, an equally hollow provision in the Medicaid part of the bill.

Among H.R. 3200’s shortcomings pertaining to immigration are sins of omission and shifting the detail writing to bureaucrats.  This can be an expensive sin, given the bill is a thousand-plus pages and costs a trillion-plus dollars.

No where does the bill require verification of one’s eligibility on citizenship or immigrant status.  Not in the Medicaid part.  Not in the Health Insurance Exchange.  Not in the government-run insurance option.  Not in the taxpayer subsidy for health premium payment.  Nowhere.

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has noted this radical departure from other public and means-tested programs.  He said at the National Press Club that those seeking to enroll in welfare programs must “be able to substantiate that you’re in the country legally” or for legal immigrants “that you’ve been here over the time limits for eligibility.”

Rector said H.R. 3200 “turns that [eligibility check requirement] on its back and tramples it into the dust.  It basically says we will not verify; we will not check.”

In several places, the legislation defers the writing of details to the health bureaucracy.  That approach lets lawmakers say “such-and-such isn’t in this bill.”

It’s inconceivable that this liberal, ideological administration’s bureaucrats won’t fill in the blanks in ways that extend health care to illegal aliens.  These are the same means by which the taxpayer-funded health insurance benefits package will require abortion on demand, rationing based on “comparative effectiveness research” will occur, and “end of life counseling” will lead to less savory measures regarding medical treatment for the elderly.

H.R. 3200 establishes an “enroll first, don’t ask questions later” regime.  The ostensible goal:  universal coverage with easy and fast enrollment.  

Division A, Title II sets up a taxpayer-funded premium subsidy for people with incomes between 133 percent and 400 percent ($88,000 for a family of four) of the official poverty level.  Under Section 242, the subsidy benefits all members of a household, even those ineligible because of their immigration status.

Under Division B’s Title VII, Medicaid is expanded to those earning a third above the official poverty income.  The “presumptive eligibility” provision will force states to assume that new Medicaid enrollees be presumed eligible for the program.  States won’t be allowed to run the normal eligibility verification.

In other words, the bill requires willful ignorance of whether people actually qualify.  The legislation forces officials to turn a blind eye at enrollment.

The lackadaisical process for getting people — including illegal aliens and immigrants supposed to rely on their visa sponsor’s financial support — into government health care at taxpayer expense amounts to a scam and a scandal.

You have to ask:  Have bill proponents just not read the legislation or are they playing a shell game to hoodwink the American public?

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