Health care for illegals


President Obama's frenzied attempt to nationalize health care has hit a few snags, despite the best efforts of liberal congressional Democrats.

But it's worth noting at least one success the far left has scored when it comes to health care reform legislation: They made sure that taxpayers could be on the hook for covering the medical bills of illegal aliens.

That's right. Last week, the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted 26-15 -- on a straight party line -- to kill an amendment offered by Nevada Rep. Dean Heller that would have prevented illegals from receiving government subsidized health care under any reform proposal.

Democrats often trot out the 45 million uninsured in America as evidence that we need more public sector involvement in health care. Of course, a significant portion of those uninsured are illegal -- some estimates put it as high as 10 million.

Democrats have previously denied that they seek to cover illegals, saying they would not be eligible to participate in the public insurance option they hope to create. The question then becomes: What sort of mechanism do they propose to weed out the illegals?

In fact, they have proposed none. The Heller plan would have at least mandated that health organizations use federal data base checks to verify citizenship, but the Democrats have now put the kibosh on that approach.

Heller's plan would also have barred illegal aliens from qualifying for tax credits to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance coverage. But this, too, is apparently too much for Democrats to stomach in their effort to court the illegal vote.

The irony here, of course, is that at least some portion of our increasing medical expenditures -- which are driving the push toward reform -- can be attributed to this nation's generous policy of treating illegals in emergency rooms and passing the costs on to citizens.

The notion that Rep. Heller's concerns are overblown should be dismissed outright. It's already commonplace for illegals with counterfeit identification to receive various federal benefits. Without some means of checking for citizenship, how do Democrats propose to ensure their socialized medicine scheme doesn't become an attraction for illegals?

Or do they even care?

 

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