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November 6th, 2009 11:31 am
ObamaCare for Illegals

During his nationally televised address on health care to a joint session of Congress in September, President Obama stated:

There are also those who claim that our [health care] reform effort will insure illegal immigrants.  This, too, is false — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”

Well, either the President wasn’t being totally honest when he made that statement or Nancy Pelosi wasn’t paying attention or just flat out ignored it.  H.R. 3962, the 2,000-plus-page (and growing), $1.3 trillion (and growing) “reform” proposal that the House will be voting on tomorrow – and for which President Obama has pledged his support – in fact does enable illegal immigrants to receive health care.

According to a November 2, 2009 Congressional Research Service report, “The House bill contains no express restrictions on noncitizens – whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently – accessing and paying for coverage available through the health insurance exchange.”

Just a few days earlier, the Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) noted in its preliminary cost estimate of H.R. 3962 that in 2019 there would be “about 18 million nonelderly residents uninsured (nearly one third of whom would be unauthorized immigrants).”  In other words, CBO projects that six million illegals – nearly half of all illegal immigrants currently living in the United States, according to official government estimates – would be provided health care under the legislation by 2019.

Repeated attempts to amend the underlying legislation upon which H.R. 3962 was drafted to provide for adequate verification of U.S. citizenship and to explicitly exclude illegal immigrants from receiving health benefits under the bill have all failed. 

Rep. Tom Price, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, has a more thorough analysis of the issue here.

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