Three months ago, my former colleague Joe Wilson famously yelled, “You lie!” when Barack Obama falsely claimed, “There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”
Liberals went nuts, but Rep. Joe Wilson was right. Obama conceded as much when two days later the White House issued guidelines to close some of the loopholes that allowed illegal aliens to acquire health insurance in the House bill. But despite those guidelines, illegal aliens are still eligible for Obamacare under both the House and Senate bills.
An analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies exposes how easily illegal aliens will be able to exploit our health-care system under Obamacare. The health-care bill contains four provisions that increase government spending. There are two massive government expansions: the much discussed “public option” and a sharp increase of Medicaid subsidies. In addition, it includes two ostensibly market incentives: the semiprivate “Health Insurance Exchange” and “Affordability Credits” that are basically tax credits for low-income households. However, the Exchange will be heavily subsidized by the government, and families eligible for “Affordability Credits” are not paying taxes, so a “tax credit” is just another form of welfare.
What this means is that any part of the health-care bill that illegal aliens are eligible for will involve subsidies by the American taxpayers. Illegal aliens are eligible for all of them! The CIS study notes that the House bill contains absolutely no provisions excluding illegal aliens from the public option or Health Insurance Exchange.
According to The Hill newspaper, this was a concession to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who threatened to block the bill if illegal aliens were banned.
In both the House and Senate bills, the new applicants have the “presumption of eligibility,” which means “no questions asked” when illegal aliens apply.
The Senate bill ostensibly bars illegal aliens from the public option and Health Insurance Exchange, and both bills claim to bar them from receiving “Affordability Credits.” However, there is insufficient verification to make this meaningful.
Almost all means-tested welfare programs use the effective Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements system to verify the legal status of applicants. However, the Democrats have repeatedly voted down and blocked amendments to use this system in the health-care bill.
According to the CIS report:
The Senate’s bill’s verification provisions almost guarantee exploitation by illegal aliens and their advocacy groups that help them enroll in government programs. American taxpayers will end up subsidizing illegal aliens’ health care by the tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars.
In addition to giving tax dollars to illegal aliens, the health-care bill places a burden on hospitals and doctors by imposing fines on those who do not “substantially provide language services to limited-English-proficient beneficiaries.” This means that health costs for ordinary Americans will rise to pay for interpreters.
Most outrageously, the individual mandate for health insurance applies to American citizens but not to illegal aliens. This means Americans are forced to pay thousands in health-care costs, while illegal aliens – if they don’t get government-subsidized health care – can continue to use bankrupt hospitals by using their emergency rooms as doctor’s offices.
In an attempt to downplay our illegal-immigration crisis, many are claiming that illegal aliens are leaving the country because of the lack of jobs. But under Obamacare, lack of a job will not affect an illegal alien’s access to government-subsidized health care. How does this make sense?
The great Nobel economist Milton Friedman once observed that the welfare system made open borders untenable regardless of the other alleged benefits. Creating taxpayer-funded services available to illegal aliens only adds to the taxpayer burdens already imposed by open-borders policies – in education and law enforcement, for example. Even if the jobs magnet for illegal aliens has been weakened by our current recession, liberals are intent on providing new benefits to slow down any out-migration.