EDITORIAL: Backdoor insurance for illegals

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

When President Obama addressed Congress last month he made a promise. “There are also those who claim that our [health care] reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false - the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.” Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, yelled, “You lie,” which made that section of the president’s speech a part of every newscast.

Illegal immigrants technically are not covered in the bill. However, the health care bill that the Senate Finance Committee likely will pass today does not contain any mechanism to keep illegals from receiving benefits. On a party-line vote, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee rejected a proposed requirement that would require immigrants to prove their identity. Imagine Congress passing age restrictions on alcohol and not requiring merchants to check IDs. Such a law could be described in a word: toothless.

Democrats seem to think we can trust illegal immigrants not to abuse the system. As Sen. Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico Democrat, put it: “The way I see the amendment, it’s a solution without a problem.” Expecting those who enter the United States by breaking immigration laws to respect the medical ones could be described in another word: naive.

Mr. Bingamen’s claim that there is no problem is, in Mr. Obama’s terminology, “false.” Illegal immigrants already receive federal medical benefits, according to the Congressional Research Service, some of them illegally. Indeed, illegals do lie to get health benefits, and we don’t do much to catch them.

In response to a question from Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, the Democrat-controlled Congressional Budget Office acknowledged that illegals are receiving government paid health care. Unfortunately, the CBO protected Democrats and refused to make an estimate of how many illegals would get benefits under the health care bill.

If Mr. Wilson was wrong when he said “You lie,” now would be a good time for Mr. Obama to tell Democrats that he really meant no benefits for illegal immigrants.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts