On Thursday, July 16, the House Committee on Energy and commerce will begin to markup the new plan for universal health care, the "America's Affordable Health Choice Act." While the goal of this bill is to ensure that all Americans are able to access affordable health care services, the bill is vaguely written and would allow millions of illegal aliens to benefit from the taxpayer-funded program. Problems with the bill include:
- Section 242 of the bill prohibits "undocumented aliens" from receiving health care, but does not prescribe a method for preventing illegal aliens from receiving health care.
- Section 1702 of the bill requires that "the State shall accept without further determination the enrollment under [the Medicaid program] of an individual determined by the Commissioner to be a non-traditional Medicaid eligible individual." However, the bill does not require the government to apply the existing citizenship and identity verification requirements that exist in the current Medicare statute.
- Section 1714 states, "in determining eligibility for services under this subsection, the State may consider only the income of the applicant or recipient." This means that for certain non-essential services, the State can disregard an individual's immigration status and look only at the individual's income.
Fortunately, Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) will be submitting a series of amendments to tackle the nebulous language in these sections. One of Rep. Deal's amendments would require the government and health care providers to use the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program to prevent illegal aliens from taking advantage of government health care services.