Yes, ObamaCare Will Likely Cover Illegal Immigrants

by Hans Bader on August 20, 2009 · 3 comments

in Healthcare, Legal, Politics as Usual, Sanctimony

Media fact-checkers have caught Obama telling several falsehoods about his health-care proposals. But they have let him get away with other false claims, such as his claim that ObamaCare would not cover illegal immigrants. As John Rosenberg, an expert on discrimination law, explains, the health-care legislation backed by Obama would indeed likely cover illegal immigrants.

While a House health-care bill backed by Obama purports to exclude exclude illegal immigrants from receiving certain taxpayer-funded subsidies, it effectively includes them, since it blocks any way of determining whether or not recipients of government health insurance are in the country legally. This is because leftist lawmakers deliberately blocked Republican attempts to require verification that recipients of federally-subsidized health insurance are citizens or in the country legally.

One of the “Blue Dog” Democrats who voted for the bill in committee now admits that it does cover illegal immigrants.

As columnist Jay Ambrose notes, “Democrats want to make it impossible to find out if an applicant for benefits is here illegally or not, despite specific wording in bills saying they don’t qualify. Republicans have tried on a number of occasions to include amendments requiring more than what Democrats want — just writing down a Social Security number that will never be checked — and the answer is, oh my, this is an invasion of privacy, or that mistakes could result. It’s an invasion of privacy to find out whether someone is or is not a citizen and therefore eligible for something taxpayers are providing? What blather. All of us have to produce IDs of one kind or another on a host of different occasions, from driver’s licenses, to passports, to birth certificates. As for mistakes, tell me one single interaction between the government and citizens in which mistakes are not possible. I am waiting. I am still waiting. ‘Saying that illegal immigrants cannot benefit while at the same time blocking verification is akin to passing a law that sets the legal drinking age at 21 years and then preventing bars from checking a patron’s identification,’ writes Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in an op-ed piece in The Washington Times, and it seems to me that about says it.”

Covering illegal aliens is problematic because they lack the same responsibilities as citizens. Illegal immigrants are exempt from the taxes and penalties contained in ObamaCare, even though they are effectively able to access its benefits due to the lack of eligibility verification safeguards. Illegal immigrants should not receive preference.

Yet the Congressional Hispanic Caucus pushed to have illegal immigrants benefit from ObamaCare.

The illegal-alien issue is certainly not the biggest health care issue. But it does shed light on the media’s willingness to gullibly accept many of Obama’s claims at face value. Some media fact-checkers have claimed that ObamaCare won’t cover illegal immigrants simply because Obama says so.

But Obama’s credibility is undermined by his long line of broken promises, such as his pledge to enact a “net spending cut,” which he broke in a big way with proposed budgets that will explode the national debt through $9.3 trillion in massively increased deficit spending.

Obama’s own advisors have called into question his claims about how ObamaCare will supposedly let you keep your health coverage while cutting costs.

ObamaCare is all about rationing,” says one of Obama’s own advisers, Martin Feldstein. Feldstein earlier noted that Obama’s health-care plan would harm people with insurance, and massively raise taxes.

ObamaCare is penny-wise and pound-foolish, cutting reimbursement for crucial things like anesthesia to ridiculously low levels (and thus aggravating a shortage of anesthesiologists and doctors), even while increasing spending on wasteful frills.

Legal experts and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights have questioned the constitutionality of major provisions of ObamaCare.

Fact-checkers say Obama is lying about health-care.

Feldstein, a Harvard professor, warns that “For the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, the Obama health plan is bad news. It means higher taxes, less health care and no protection if they lose their current insurance because of unemployment or early retirement.” Obama’s plan would “cost more than $1 trillion,” and raise the top federal “income-tax rate from 35 percent today to more than 45 percent,” he notes.

As CNN earlier noted, Obama’s plan would take away “5 freedoms,” including the freedom to choose your doctors, the freedom to choose what’s in your plan, the freedom to keep your existing plan, the freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, and the freedom to choose high-deductible coverage.

Earlier, we described how Obama’s health-care plan would destroy many affordable health-care plans, raise taxes on the middle class, and break Obama’s campaign promises, as well as his recent pledge that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

Most other countries do not provide national health insurance for illegal immigrants.

Hans August 21, 2009 at 5:47 am

I originally used the term illegal "alien" in this post, rather than "immigrant," because "alien" is technically the correct legal term under the U.S. Code and case law.

(But a well-meaning co-worker of mine, presumably in an attempt to protect certain readers' sensibilities, has changed it to "immigrant").

Technically, "immigrants" are people who come to permanently stay in a country.

Illegal aliens can't lawfully establish a domicile in the country, much less do so permanently, or establish any right to permanent residence.

Moreover, empirically, many of them do in fact return home to their home country, and only intend to remain in the country temporarily until they can earn enough cash.

"Alien" is not necessarily a pejorative term. I met my wife when she was a LEGAL "alien." She was an alien rather than an immigrant because she was in the country temporarily on a diplomatic visa and had no legal entitlement to remain here permanently, at the time. Her visa was explicitly a legal "ALIEN" visa. Illegal aliens have no more legal entitlement to remain here than she did (indeed, less, since the law allows them to be summarily deported, unlike legal aliens), and thus technically should not be referred to as "immigrants" rather than aliens.

"Alien" is a legal term, not (as some people apparently believe) simply a political or cultural expression. That is why I originally used it.

But since the phrase "illegal immigrants" has indeed entered common usage, and the word "alien" seems to generate more heat than light in certain quarters, I have left the changes intact.

Brittancus August 23, 2009 at 3:33 pm


Everybody in the workplace must be carefully vetted for inconsistencies with a progressively upgraded E-Verify. Even without stealing into the reformed health care system by federal law the taxpayers must support illegal immigrants for emergency medical services. Foreign nationals use this mandatory law, as an excuse for any kind of minor injury or illness.

The travesty that drives the faltering health care system is of course money. Everyday our televisions are monotonously inundated with adverts about new drugs and medicine. Personally I'm sick of the continuous kaleidescope of ads, trying to program our brains to buy another boring antihistamine? We should also question the majority of Republicans, why there are rumors of a dark conspiracy? Could it be that that these people have a cemented interest in killing any type of reform? How many of these politicians have secret stocks in multi-bed hospitals, greedy profiteering insurance firms or the pharmaceutical industry. THE QUESTION THAT MUST BE ASKED IS, WHO HAS VOTED AGAINST A PUBLIC OPTION? WHICH POLITICIANS HAVE A FINANCIAL STAKE IN KILLING ANY REFORM? IS THERE INFORMATION THAT ANSWERS THESE QUESTIONS? THINK ABOUT IT?

My health care experience was mainly in England and Australia and prior to the mass immigration invasion was positively first class. FIRST CLASS AND EXEMPLARY!

Of course the status quo doesn't want any change in the trillion dollar medical complex, because it could strictly confine a multitude of new common sense laws? Sadly, I have listened to lies sprouting from the special interest lobby over the airwaves for weeks. Trouble is, a majority of the American people believe this tripe that we are constantly bombarded with?

We are still conveying many entitlement programs to illegal aliens and their families, with extorted taxes.We have always been the recipients of business welfare and likely always will be, because the pariah businesses that hire illegals, never pay anything to their support. GET RAW ANSWERS AT NUMBERSUSA Tell those in WASHINGTON no more AMNESTIES. USE ATTRITION TO DEPORT THEM THROUGH E-VERIFY, 287 G, NO MATCH SOCIAL SECURITY LETTERS AND LIGHTENING ICE RAIDS. CONTACT YOUR POLITICIAN 202-224-3121 AND DEMAND NO WEAKENING OF CURRENT LAWS?

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