USA Today Wrong On Illegal Immigrant Health Care
John Fritze and Mimi Hall have an article in September 10th’s USA Today taking “a closer look” at what President barack Obama said in his Joint Session of Congress health care speech.They do a great job of noting how Congress has ignored spending triggers in the past, but on illegal immigration they write:
The statement: “There are those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false.”
The context: Some Republicans, including Rep. Steve King of Iowa, have charged that Obama’s plan would offer insurance to millions of illegal immigrants. The issue was raised repeatedly during town hall meetings on health care during the August recess. But current federal law bars illegal immigrants from getting government-funded health care and versions of the bill pending in the House and Senate also prohibit it.
This is woefully incomplete analysis. While current law and Obamacare both do forbid illegal immigrants from receiving health care benefits, current law also has enforcement mechanisms that are not included in current legislation. Specifically, the Income and Eligibility Verification System (IEVS) and Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) programs are both used under current federal law to ensure that Medicaid does not give benefits to illegal immigrants.
When Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced an amendment that would have used these two programs as enforcement mechanisms for Obamacare, Democrats voted the amendment down on a party line vote.
USA Today’s readers deserve to know these facts.