The efforts of thousands of NumbersUSA members forced President Obama to address the issue of illegal aliens and healthcare during his nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night. And now the country's major news outlets are taking notice as well.
Reaction to Rep. Joe Wilson's untimely outburst on Wednesday night led to major media outlets doing their own research on H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, and its possible inclusion of benefits for illegal aliens.
ABC News’ White House Correspondent Jake Tapper wrote in his blog on Thursday what NumbersUSA has been saying all along. Dr. Jim Edwards, legislative specialist for NumbersUSA, discussed in a blog last month how illegal aliens who qualify as non-traditional Medicaid individuals could receive government-funded coverage under H.R. 3200.
H.R. 3200 would extend Medicaid coverage up to 133 1/3% of poverty for populations that previously were not covered such as some parents and childless adults.
That expansion could – could -- mean more illegal immigrants would become eligible for Emergency Medicaid.
It's true that the Democrats haven't explicitly called for illegal immigrants to be covered by H.R. 3200, but by voting down two amendments that would have verified participants' legal status, they seem to have implicitly allowed it.
-- CBS News, “Does Joe Wilson have a case?”
Because there was no such requirement in the House bill, Republicans say they offered amendments to include verification measures, which are already used in other federal programs. Those amendments were defeated.
-- MSNBC, “Was Joe Wilson right?”
Shortly after Wednesday's incident, many articles referenced the non-partisan FactCheck.org that stated that illegal aliens would not receive benefits under H.R. 3200. The group has since revised its statement.
Republicans have a point here: More could be done to enforce the ban. But it’s worth remembering that, as a spokesperson for the American Immigration Lawyers Association told us, attempting to get a health care credit would have legal repercussions. "Making a fraudulent claim to an entitlement program when you’re not actually entitled to it would have serious consequences for any person," the spokesperson told us, "but especially if it’s considered a false claim to citizenship, that would have serious immigration consequences that could ultimately lead to deportation.
For more information, read Roy's blog.
Updated: Tue, Sep 22nd 2009 @ 11:50am EDT