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Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin
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Obamacare for Illegal Aliens


Big Nanny Democrats want to ration health care for everyone in America — except those who break our immigration laws. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee defeated an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from using the so-called "public health insurance option." Every Democrat on the panel voted against the measure.

Nevada GOP Rep. Dean Heller's measure would have enforced income, eligibility and immigration verification screening on all Obamacare patients. Unlike most everything else stuffed into the House Democrats' plan, the citizenship vetting process would not have required building a new bureaucracy. Heller proposed using existing state and federal databases created years ago to root out entitlement fraud.

If the congressional majority are truly committed to President Obama's quest to wring cost savings from the system, why won't they adopt the same anti-fraud checks imposed on other government health and welfare beneficiaries? Maybe an intrepid reporter could ask the president at his next Obamacare show to explain.

The Democratic leadership denies that an estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants will receive taxpayer-subsidized health insurance coverage. Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., calls the proposition "too politically explosive."

But Obama lit the fuse in February when he signed the massive expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. That law loosened eligibility requirements for legal immigrants and their children by watering down document and evidentiary standards — making it easy for individuals to use fake Social Security cards to apply for benefits with little to no chance of getting caught. In addition, Obama's S-CHIP expansion revoked Medicaid application time limits that were part of the 1996 welfare reform law. Immigration activists see the provisions as first steps toward universal coverage for illegals.

"Explosive"? The applause certainly was. Obama's praise of the weakened immigrant eligibility rules drew the strongest claps and cheers from members of Congress at the S-CHIP signing event.

Immigration analyst James R. Edwards Jr. reported last week in National Review that "no health legislation on the table requires federal, state or local agencies — or private institutions receiving federal funds — to check the immigration status of health-program applicants, so some of the money distributed via Medicaid and tax credits inevitably would go to illegal aliens." Moreover, the Senate Finance Committee plan creates a new preference for illegal aliens by exempting them from the mandate to buy insurance.

That's right.

Law-abiding, uninsured Americans would be fined if they didn't submit to the Obamacare prescription. Law-breaking border-crossers, visa-overstayers and deportation fugitives would be spared.

The solution is not to give them health insurance, but to turn off the magnets that draw them to enter illegally in the first place.

For years, advocates of uncontrolled immigration have argued that illegal aliens are not getting free health care, and that even if they were, they would not be not draining government budgets. The fiscal crisis in California gives lie to those talking points. In March, the Associated Press reported that Sacramento and Contra Costa counties were slashing staff and closing clinics due to the prohibitive costs of providing non-emergency health services for illegal immigrants.

"The general situation there is being faced by nearly every health department across the country, and if not right now, shortly," Robert M. Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, told the AP. The Texas state comptroller put the price tag for illegal alien hospital care at $1.3 billion in 2006. USA Today reported that from 2001 to 2004, spending for emergency Medicaid for illegal immigrants rose by 28 percent in North Carolina alone. Clinics across the Midwest have also been shuttered under the weight of illegal immigrant care costs.

At a time when Democratic leaders are pushing rationed care in a world of limited resources, Americans might wonder where the call for shared sacrifice is from illegal immigrant patients like those in Los Angeles getting free liver and kidney transplants at UCLA Medical Center. "I'm just mad," illegal alien Jose Lopez told the Los Angeles Times last year after receiving two taxpayer-subsidized liver transplants while impatiently awaiting approval for state health insurance.

Now, multiply that sense of entitlement by 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants. Welcome to the open-borders Obamacare nightmare.

Michelle Malkin is the author of the forthcoming "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2009). Her e-mail address is



2 Comments | Post Comment
Ma'am;...Public health is a public problem...So is illegal immigration; but if the rich did not invite and employ illegals they would not be here...In short order they would be thrown in prision for theft, or they would be deported... High profits have been built up on the pain and desparation of illegal aliens...Now that they are seen as a problem, blame the democrats who are only trying to act in a humane and intelligent fashion...Shame on them for that...The fact is, that communicable diseases are a problem the third world exports to this shore...We cannot block the path of trade which brings immigration to our shores, so we must protect ourselves as well as we can...I know that the hatred and antipathy fueled by right to protect their wealth is a sentiment that belongs in hell... We cannot let stupidity rule us on this issue...We need to take the profit out of medicine, and mandate certain levels of care, not just to protect the ill, but to protect the well... I see how you folks work...You are always looking to wedge people apart, to find some reason to toss a good idea because it has some problems...Well; get the bill, and fix the problem...No; you hate the bill, but know we need it, so you attack insgnificant problems as you see it...Trust me, doing nothing will break the government...Doing nothing is already breaking the population, and many of the hospitals...Let me inform you...The perfect medical treatment of the rich is built on a great raft of public health dollars, and without public money the infrastructure of health care would crumble for good.... I invite you, as a spokesperson for the worthless rich, to defend doing nothing so you can hold our money for a while longer, and not pay your fair share...The sooner this whole system fails the sooner we can toss you all out on your ears... I would like to see you as an illegal, and exclude from you all humane treatement....Make that possible...Put your self outside of humanity as you seem so to desire...Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:45 AM
I agree that something must be done to curb the drainning of the medical system, and by allowing everyone to use it but not contribute (in cash!) is not the answer! This argument of "let everyone have access" smacks of "to each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities". I think I've heard that in a history lesson I got a long time ago and it didn't work then, I suspect it will not work now. I find it difficult to buy into the "high profits" argument of illegal immigration made by one poster and I find the notion of "medical treatment of the rich being built on the great raft of public dollars" laughable! Those who have, get! Period. The wealthy shall always get what they feel they need, in short, they will buy it! It's called Capitolism. I would tend to agree with the notion that democrats are trying to act in a humane manner, however, the use of intellegence also makes me laugh! This brand of intellegence is akin to putting a band-aid on a sore caused by a cancer. It does nothing to prevent cancer and only causes the costs of general healthcare (band-aids) to go up for everyone using that care, especially those who foot the bills!

Keep writing, Michelle, hopefully more American citizens will pick up on your writings and pay heed.
Comment: #2
Posted by: bill s
Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:07 AM
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