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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > The Congressional Hispanic Caucus took the right stand on threatening to withhold healthcare votes

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus took the right stand on threatening to withhold healthcare votes

LatinaLista — Yesterday, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) met with President Obama to discuss their concerns that punitive language targeting undocumented immigrants in the Senate healthcare plan would be repeated in the House version that is supposed to be voted on this weekend.
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If that’s the case, CHC members have vowed to vote against the bill.

The (CHC) lawmakers said they opposed a provision from the Senate health care bill that would prohibit illegal immigrants from buying private insurance plans on the new health insurance exchanges to be created, even with their own money.
The House bill already would already require immigrants to verify their citizenship in order to receive federal subsidies for insurance. However, the House could be compelled to adopt the stronger Senate language. The White House is backing the Senate language because it is concerned the issue could derail the bill once Senate and House leaders have to merge their proposals.

Already there is speculation that the Democrats may not have enough votes to pass the legislation on Saturday, as they originally planned.
It’s not known for sure if the 20 eligible votes from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are being taken into that prediction but one thing is certain — the men and women of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who will withhold their votes if the unnecessary and mean-spirited language is included in the House version of the bill, did the right thing.


There is nothing more mean-spirited or short sighted than denying undocumented immigrants the opportunity to buy health insurance with their own money.
The fact that the White House is so willing to acquiesce on this point to placate the hysteria rampant in Congress against undocumented immigrants should make all advocates for fair immigration reform more than a little nervous.
The idea that it’s OK to deny health coverage to people who are willing to buy it defies common sense.
If undocumented immigrants are allowed to buy health insurance, gone would be the overuse of emergency rooms (ER) or unpaid ER visits.
In these times of H1N1, why no one can see it makes more sense to have people covered by health insurance, who would be more likely to visit their doctors at the first sign of flu symptoms, rather than wait till they get to the point where they need costly hospitalization, is unfathomable.
Also, if there is a provision in the healthcare bill that would make it a requirement to buy health coverage, then by virtue of the purposeful exclusion of undocumented immigrants, the bill would put them in violation of the law — something that their critics could foreseeably twist to their advantage to show how one more law undocumented immigrants violate, regardless if it’s under their control or not.
The underlying reason for excluding undocumented immigrants is to drive them out of the country but for those people who have children born in this country, have lived here 20 years or more, the reality of the situation is they’re not going anywhere.
As unkind as some citizens are towards them in denying them the opportunity to have affordable medical care, this country is their home by now and they will continue to do what they’ve always done once the healthcare bill passes — pray they don’t get sick.

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Comment(7)

  • Avatar
    Carlos
    November 6, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    They did the right thing? They will no doubt be selfishly responsible for the citizens of this country from not getting health care legislation passed, and for this they generate the enmity of the rest of the nation for Hispanics. Good work, NOT! Just think of it, if that is the last chance for citizens the Hispanic populatoin will be held responsible for decades. Do you really think that will help CIR? This is a good an idea as boycotting the Census. Great idea? I should say not!

  • Avatar
    Beast
    November 6, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    There is nothing mean spirited about the legislation. Illegal immigrants are not supposed to be here in the first place, there should be no incentive for them to stay here.
    People who break the law should not be rewarded with health care, they already get so much as it is.

  • Avatar
    karen
    November 6, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Thank you for covering this issue. I haven’t read about it anywhere else. I think it’s IMMORAL not to let undocumented people purchase private health insurance if they so choose. I thought conservatives were in favor of the free market.
    I am glad that the Hispanic Caucus has taken a stand on this issue, and I am sorry that Obama has not shown more (any) fortitude.
    I am so tired of undocumented people being dehumanized just because they are poor and in need of work. Really, because they are indigenous. That’s at the root of it. They’re here in such big numbers because of our own policies, specifically NAFTA.

  • Avatar
    RexJ123
    November 7, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Will all of the right-minded Hispanics who put being an American first and a Hispanic second please, please, please let your voices be heard so we can drown out all these RACIST – yes, RACIST – Latino “leaders” like the CHC, Jorge Ramos (who is not even an American citizen), Miguel Perez, Albor Ruiz, NCLR, “Reverend” Miguel Rivera, activist Juan Hernandez, and others like them???
    Although I think Carlos and I think differently on CIR (aka – amnesty), I agree with him that these left-wing Latino “leaders” who only care about getting anything and everything for illegal immigrants are stirring up a lot of hatred towards all Hispanics. You can call it racist and tell yourself it does not matter, but you know it does.

  • Avatar
    Lisa Rubey
    November 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    People who are here illeaglly are not suppose to be here. Calling it undocumented workers doesn’t change that point. They are I agree a drain on the ER rooms but they are NOT suppose to be here. There is nothing wrong with coming to the United States the legal way. Letting them purchase health care coverage that they would NOT have in their legal country doesnt seem right!

  • Avatar
    Maxwells
    December 23, 2009 at 10:22 am

    “If undocumented immigrants are allowed to buy health insurance, gone would be the overuse of emergency rooms (ER) or unpaid ER visits.”
    So you are saying right now undocumented people are causing healthcare to be so expensive by not paying for ER use, then maybe removing all the undocumented people should be the first step to reduce the cost of healthcare.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    December 26, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I agree with you Maxwell. Another benefit of removing them would mean freeing up our ER’s and healthcare personal to care for fewer people. They are already stressed to the max and the waiting time is unacceptable today.

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