Roy Beck's Picture

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  by  Roy Beck

Oh, sure, they say it isn't true. But every indication says it is.

Consider this report on CBS News' website 

Asked by CBS News' Katie Couric in an exclusive interview whether illegal immigrants should be covered under a new health care plan, President Obama responded simply, "no." 

Fantastic, I thought, the President recognizes that his health plan already is so costly (according to CBO estimates) that he is losing Members of his own Party and he realizes that there is no way that he can add on the cost of providing full health care to 11-19 million illegal aliens.

But immediately, the President thought of an exception:

The one exception that I think has to be discussed is how are we treating children,

Uh, oh.  That would be a few million exceptions, although he tried to make it sound like it would be limited to vaccinations and communicable disease control. 

But he had much worse to tell Couric:

First of all, I'd like to create a situation where we're dealing with illegal immigration, so that we don't have illegal immigrants. And we've got legal residents or citizens who are eligible for the plan. And I want a comprehensive immigration plan that creates a pathway to achieve that. 

Hmmmm, so the reason the President can say that NO he wouldn't cover illegal aliens with his health plan is because he plans to change their name from "illegal aliens" to "U.S. citizens" and cover them!

I know that Orwellian doublespeak is so common we almost don't pay attention anymore, but please allow me to state plainly what the President said so obliquely:

The Obama Administration's hope is that nearly all current illegal aliens will be covered by the emerging new national health plan because they will be re-labeled as legal residents as soon as the amnesty is passed. 

In case it isn't clear, let me also state that the health costs of the 11-19 million illegal aliens to the U.S. taxpayer will be just as high whether they are called illegal aliens or legal residents.  I hope the CBO cost counters are paying attention.  

NO MEANS YES ON BENEFITS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS

The leaders of the U.S. House are playing the same game.

They allow language to be put into the health bill (as in many other benefits legislation) that says illegal aliens are not eligible.

But when an amendment is offered to require verification of legal residence before receiving the benefit, Speaker Pelosi's team demands Party-line votes to kill it. 

Friends, don't let a single politician fool you by talking about supporting language that bars illegal aliens from something.  Those words mean nothing unless there is a verification system.  And thus far, illegal aliens will not have to prove they are legal residents to get the new federal health coverage.

FOREIGN BORN RESPONSIBLE FOR MOST GROWTH IN UNINSURED

NumbersUSA takes no position on the various proposals for changes in our national health system.

But I think it is important to note that we probably would not be having this particular debate if not for immigration.

That is because immigration (legal and illegal) has been the primary cause of the growth in the uninsured, which is one of the primary factors that moved health care to center stage. 

Consider this from a study by the Center for Immigration Studies:

According to the Census Bureau, since 1989 the population without health insurance has grown by 14.62 million and stood at 47 million in 2006.

In the March 2007 CPS there were 9.21 million immigrants who arrived in 1990 or later who did not have health insurance. This is equal to 62.9 percent of the growth in the uninsured population.

Moreover, there were 1.12 million children born to post-1990 immigrants who also lacked insurance, meaning that new immigrants and their U.S.-born children accounted for 71 percent of the growth in the uninsured population.

Without legal and illegal immigration since 1989, the uninsured population would have grown only one-quarter as much as actually happened.  The "uninsured crisis" is almost entirely a crisis created by our immigration system.

CURRENT IMMIGRATION POLICIES WILL ADD MORE AND MORE NET DRAINS ON THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

Be clear that this is much more than just an illegal immigration problem.

Our immigration system is set up to bring in 1 million new legal immigrants each year who are disproportionately low-skilled, low educated and poor. The minute they arrive under a national health system, they will require additional health subsidies from the existing taxpayers.

If the government were really serious about reducing national medical costs, it would immediately pass the SAVE Act to slash illegal immigration and it would reduce legal immigration by 80%.

But who's serious?

The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Va., certainly is serious. Get a load of these excerpts from its editorial: 

Let’s set aside the arguments pro and con for nationalized health care, and zero in on those uncovered millions whom some proponents want other American taxpayers to support with their dollars.

First, the stats: There are an estimated 46 million folks out there not paying for health insurance. Of that number some 7-10 million people, or 15-20 percent, are illegal aliens. . . .

. . . . . All of this is to point to a major flaw in health-care legislation before Congress. As of earlier last week, none of the major legislative proposals had strict requirements that any agencies check the immigration status of anyone seeking to receive health-care services.

Most Americans may have already figured out that it’ll be their tax dollars and health-care premiums that will go toward the cost of underwriting health-care costs for millions of illegal immigrants.

If health-care legislation passes without a tough mandate for screening illegal immigrants, then the first prescribed procedure should be brain scans for the congressmen who voted for it. 

We have NumbersUSA members who are rooting for the health care action to come through reasonably like the proposals and we have members who absolutely hate all of the proposals.  But I think close to 100% of our members would agree that the proposals should go no further until there are guarantees that national health care will not be provided to today's illegal aliens and will not be used as a carrot to entice millions more.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

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