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Monday, September 28, 2009

Health Care for Illegals?

I know that everyone reading this was thinking what I was thinking when I first heard about this.

Fearful that they're losing ground on immigration and health care, a group of House Democrats is pushing back and arguing that any health care bill should extend to all legal immigrants and allow illegal immigrants some access, The Washington Times reported on Monday.

The Democrats, trying to stiffen their party's spines on the contentious issue, say it's unfair to bar illegal immigrants from paying their own way in a government-sponsored exchange. Legal immigrants, they say, regardless of how long they've been in the United States, should be able to get government-subsidized health care if they meet the other eligibility requirements.

I know I was thinking that this idea is a total non starter. After all, the president categorically denied that illegals would be covered under the health care plan. In fact, he used his speech in front of the nation to call it a lie that illegal immigrants would be covered under his health care plan. So, any suggestion by any legislator that a final health care plan will cover illegals is a total nonstarter. After all, the president categorically denied that such a thing would ever pass.

So, we of course have nothing to worry about. This is going nowhere. In fact, I am sure the president will be on television immediately to say this is a non starter.

Now, the Democrats that support this are running a shell game. Their plan wouldn't call for the government to pay for their health insurance. It would merely allow an illegal to buy health insurance in the health care exchange. The logic behind this is that if someone has health insurance they are kept out of the emergency room. Now, let's take things one at a time. First, it's not entirely clear just how much of a burden those without insurance are on the health care system. The president says that families pay an extra $900 yearly for such services. Jacob Sullum wrote about this over the weekend and he cites a study that found something entirely different.

According to a 2008 report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, both of those estimates are way off. The foundation’s analysis indicates that the true annual cost per family is more like $200, with uncompensated care accounting for “less than 1 percent of private health insurance costs.”

There is a much bigger cost that all those pushing this aren't accounting for. That's the cost of illegal immigration entirely. If illegals know that they can come here and get jobs, get health insurance, get loans, credit cards, cell phones, etc. there isn't much discouraging them to come here. The costs of illegal immigration are much higher than merely the health care costs. By providing illegals one more benefit of living in America, all we are doing is encouraging more illegal immigration into the country. We should be trying to do everything we can to discourage illegal immigration. That's the main reason everyone was so up in arms at the suggestion that illegals would be covered under the Obama plan. It's much more about the overall costs of illegal immigration and much less about the health care costs of illegal immigration.

It will be interesting to see how the president handles this. He was very firm in his stance that illegals wouldn't be covered. There is no way around that statement. If he doesn't immediately cme out and call this a non starter his credibility will take yet another hit. The last thing he needs right now in the health care debate is for the specter that illegals will be covered to float in the media for a few days.


Anonymous said...

If you think that illegal immigrants should not be allowed any health care at all, then you need to say that up front rather than shroud your contempt for "illegals" by claiming they're going to receive taxpayer subsidies. It goes right to the heart of the lie that HR3200 includes subsidies for undocumented immigrants despite clear language to the contrary.

Any discussion that "the Democrats shot down enforcement amendments offered by Republicans" must be considered first and foremost under the context that the true objective of Republicans like yourself is to deny any coverage subsidized or otherwise.

Perhaps you're afraid of tripping over your own conservatism to reveal what your true intentions are.

mike volpe said...

I guess you didn't read this story about Grady Hospital shutting down their dialysis machines.

I didn't say that illegals shouldn't get health care but health insurance. If you aren't supposed to be in the country how are you supposed to get health insurance.

Joe said...

I think we are forgetting that there are significant constitutional issues as to whether or not you can deny illegal immigrants from receiving these subsidies. Prop 187 in California showed how murky this can get. Even with specific language barring illegal immigrants from the program, it will be up to the executive to enforce it and the courts to rule that it is constitutional to deny the subsidies to certain individuals. I am not confident either branch will do their part.

If they pass a bill, the left will get their way in covering illegals through the courts. It is surprising that they would bring this forward in debate. Its just another example how terrible this bill and process is.