Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) is urging the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss to offer his identity and verification language as an amendment to the health care reform bill. House leadership prevented Rep. Deal from offering the amendment in the House.
Recent polls show that 83 percent of Americans oppose giving health care benefits to illegal aliens, and Rep. Deal used that as the basis for a letter addressed to the three Senators today.
I am writing to request that you offer my identity and citizenship verification amendments I offered on the House healthcare bill, which will prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to provide healthcare benefits to illegal aliens. As you know, the citizens of Georgia and the American people have spoken in firm opposition to allowing those who have illegally entered into our country from receiving taxpayer-funded social welfare benefits, and President Obama has acknowledged this demand by promising not to sign any bill which provides healthcare benefits to illegal aliens.
Rep. Deal said that the language contained in the House version of the bill (H.R.3962) does not require individuals to present proof of identity or citizenship status when being considered for eligibility. Individuals looking for coverage only have to provide a name and social security number.
In a letter to former Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Jim McCrery, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Mr. Michael J. Astrue, confirmed that the name/Social Security Number verification process alone would not prevent an illegal alien from being able to access taxpayer-funded benefits.
Rep. Deal offered an amendment to the health care bill during the House Energy and Commerce Committee's markup, but it was defeated by a party-line vote. Efforts to offer the language during the full House debate were rebuffed by the House Rules Committee.
Updated: Wed, Nov 18th 2009 @ 3:22pm EST