LatinaLista — It’s thought that the conservative party got the message during the 2008 elections, when Democrats soundly beat Republicans.
Yet, someone is feeding conservatives the belief that the issue of illegal immigration still resonates loudly with independents and those on the fence about it. Otherwise, the latest idiotic allegations involving undocumented immigrants wouldn’t have been issued, let alone signed with pride.
It seems Congressman Steve King (R-IA), the Ranking Member on the House Immigration Subcommittee really wants to see Obama’s healthcare plan defeated along with his fellow Republicans.
So while all the Republicans have been retreating to their corners to strategize how best to instill fear in the American public, someone must have told King to use his position on the House Immigration Subcommittee to issue a statement that people would think he knows what he’s talking about.
It’s painfully clear he doesn’t. The poor guy, while towing the party line, is setting himself up to not only be the fall guy for a proven failed strategy but in the process is revealing the level of desperation that the Conservative party feels towards immigration reform.
King issued a press release this morning, where he said the information he got from the Congressional Budget Office, revealed that Obama’s healthcare plan would give “5.6 million illegal aliens” health insurance.
Funny, but everyone from Obama to Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the CBO, have explicitly stated that this healthcare plan is for legal residents only.
The President did make one exception and the fact that he did should instill pride in every American who likes to think we are still the most reasoned and compassionate country in the world.
In an interview with Katie Couric on CBS News, he was asked specifically if undocumented immigrants would be covered under his healthcare plan. He said, “No” – with one exception.
“The one exception that I think has to be discussed is how are we treating children,” he continued. “Partly because if you’ve got children who may be here illegally but are still in playgrounds or at schools, and potentially are passing on illnesses and communicable diseases, that aren’t getting vaccinated, that I think is a situation where you may have to make an exception.”
As an American citizen, the idea that any child would be made to purposely suffer because they lacked health insurance is offensive for what this country has historically stood.
If the Republican Party sides with denying undocumented children health coverage then it’s becoming more and more clear that they have less in common with Latino values than what they’ve claimed.
King’s morning press release was such a poorly executed attempt to rouse fear in the American public by linking two issues that the Republicans have vowed to fight tooth and nail to defeat that it just doesn’t get anymore obvious than this.
But for those who do need clarification:
Obama’s healthcare plan is for legal residents only.
As it is now, undocumented residents do not take advantage of receiving any healthcare benefits. The healthcare they do receive is payed by them with cash they save.
The only time that undocumented immigrants are forced into taking advantage of any healthcare is in an emergency when they must use ER facilities. Like everyone, emergencies happen when you least expect them or when you’re least financially prepared. It’s just what happens in life.
Only hospital collection departments know how many try to make a good-will effort to repay the costs — as with anyone who finds an unexpected hospital bill that always costs into the thousands of dollars.
Some other facts as compiled by the Immigration Policy Center:
- U.S. citizens make up the majority of the uninsured, at 78%, while legal and unauthorized immigrants make up 22% of the nonelderly uninsured.
- Immigrants incur fewer health care costs than the rest of the population because they are generally younger and healthier than the overall aging U.S. population.
- Immigrants’ per-person medical expenditures were one-half to two-thirds less than U.S.-born citizens.
- Recent immigrants were responsible for 1.4% of the total public medical expenditures for adults in 2003, even though they constituted 5% of the total population.
- The cost of Medicaid and Medicare could be as much as $1.2 trillion per year by 2015. Having more healthy, working-age people paying into the system will lessen the burden on the current, smaller pool of taxpayers.
- Non-citizens are a vast, untapped network of new subscribers who can share the risks and the benefits of health care coverage.
In trying to gather what the real experts on analysis of Obama’s healtcare policy thought of King’s accusation, one expert had something to say.
Arthur Caplan, Ph.D, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, who authored an excellent analysis for the msnbc website on what was myth versus reality in Obama’s healthcare plan, wrote to Latina Lista his impression of King’s stunt.
I think this is a bit of scare mongering to be honest. I believe The Obama Administration is not going to go to the mat to include illegal aliens in health insurance plans and will not support this if it becomes a huge issue.
So, in my view, this is just cheap political red meat thrown out to delay reform.