President Obama said this week that his health care plan won’t cover illegal immigrants, but argued that’s all the more reason to legalize them and ensure they eventually do get coverage.
He also staked out a position that anyone in the country legally should be covered – a major break with the 1996 welfare reform bill, which limited most federal public assistance programs only to citizens and longtime immigrants.
“Even though I do not believe we can extend coverage to those who are here illegally, I also don’t simply believe we can simply ignore the fact that our immigration system is broken,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday evening in a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. “That’s why I strongly support making sure folks who are here legally have access to affordable, quality health insurance under this plan, just like everybody else.
Mr. Obama added, “If anything, this debate underscores the necessity of passing comprehensive immigration reform and resolving the issue of 12 million undocumented people living and working in this country once and for all.”
Ed Morrissey, who has video of Obama’s remarks, responds:
In other words, not only should everyone pay for Americans to get health care, we should pay for health care for those who came here illegally. That’s going to be a winning argument in 2010, especially in Blue Dog districts! We’re going to bust the budget and infringe on your personal choices, and we’re going to make you pay for insurance for illegal immigrants!
If a Republican had run an ad making those charges in 2008, the media would have called it a “smear”. If comedians used it in their act, it would have been a joke about GOP paranoia. The joke, unfortunately, is on those who voted for the Blue Dogs because of their supposed conservatism, and on those who voted for Obama because of his supposed centrism.
I’m all for immigration reform – and yes I do realize that “reform” is in the eye of the beholder, and I certainly don’t trust this admin on any reform front – but I’m not for it as a means to providing healthcare for millions “former undocumented workers” who ten minutes before they became eligible for healthcare were illegal and not eligible.
I’m also still waiting for the answer no one in the administration has provided (not that I would believe them, anyway): Assuming ObamaCare passes, where are all the new doctors going to come from, both for the people who will jump on the ‘free’ healthcare bandwagon as well as for those who already have healthcare whose current physicians will be overwhelmed? If illegals are thrown into the mix by becoming “legal” that is going to put even more of an unsustainable crush on our entire medical system, making the costs skyrocket and the quality drop dramatically.
Really. Does anyone in this adminstration think about what they’re advocating before they go about trying to sell it? Or does it matter anymore, since they think they can pretty much get away with anything?