Like Nancy Pelosi said, we had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. Now, aren’t you glad you waited for the surprise?
A Department of Health and Human Services official told the House Ways and Means Committee that immigrants living in the United States on temporary visas are eligible for federally subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, “depending on their income.”
“It was my understanding it was just going to be those that are citizens of the United States or here as permanent legal residents,” Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach said at a Thursday hearing on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. “Are there folks beyond that that are eligible for tax credit – taxpayer subsidies under this program?”
HHS Insurance Oversight Director Gary Cohen replied, “You have to be a citizen or lawfully present.”
When Gerlach asked for further explanation, Cohen said immigrants “could be here on a student visa and be eligible.”
Gerlach clarified Cohen’s statement by saying, “So a student from Germany comes to the United States to do four years of college; that student is going to be subsidized by taxpayers for health insurance?”
“They are eligible for subsidies depending on their income, yes,” Cohen replied.
But, don’t worry, if these immigrant students overstay their visas, Mr. Cohen promises they won’t get a subsidy. Of course, he forgot to mention we have a lousy record of tracking expired visas…
Maybe the “Don’t fund it” crowd have a point.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)