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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

ANTIS PEDDLING MYTH THAT ILLEGALLY PRESENT IMMIGRANTS WILL BE INCLUDED IN HEALTH CARE PLAN

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Opponents of health care reform efforts have accused the President and
Democrats in Congress of including millions of illegally present
immigrants in proposals to expand health insurance coverage.



Whether one thinks that including such individuals is good or bad, the
fact is that only lawfully present immigrants will be eligible for
inclusion in the various proposals being considered in Congress. Think Progress explains in a piece refuting erroneous reporting on Lou Dobbs show (surprised?).



When you hear figures like 97% of people will be covered under the
broadest plans, the 3% they're talking about leaving out are
undocumented immigrants.

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  1. Jack's Avatar
    'When you hear figures like 97% of people will be covered under the broadest plans, the 3% they're talking about leaving out are undocumented immigrants.'

    That's actually an in the range % of illegal aliens of the total population, but nothing I've ever read mentions illegal aliens as the 3 or so % uncovered. E.g.:

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I want to cover everybody. Now, the truth is that unless you have a--what's called a single-payer system, in which everybody's automatically covered, then you're probably not going to reach every single individual, because there's always going to be somebody out there who thinks they're indestructible and doesn't want to get healthcare, doesn't bother getting healthcare, and then, unfortunately, when they get hit by a bus, end up in the emergency room and the rest of us have to pay for it.


    But that's not the overwhelming majority of Americans. The overwhelming majority of Americans want healthcare, but millions of them can't afford it.


    So the plan that has been--that I've put forward and that what we're seeing in Congress would cover, the estimates are at least 97 to 98 percent of Americans. There might still be people left out there who, even though there's an individual mandate, even though they are required to purchase health insurance, might still not get it or, despite a lot of subsidies, are still in such dire straits that it's still hard for them to afford it, and we may end up giving them some sort of hardship exemption.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/23/obama_us_cant_insure_all_americans


    I haven't followed this that closely, but I think there's a distinction between formal and practical some might mean when it comes to illegal aliens and any benefit program. For instance, a program might formally only be available to, e.g., citizens, but if there is a rule not to ask that, a mere affidavit of eligibility rarely or never checked out, no proof of eligibility requirement, etc., ineligible non-citizens could receive the benefit. Perhaps some are inferring this is the Democrats' intent by opposing the Heller amendment.

    ////

    From Greg's link:

    "Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States," the draft bill reads.

    This means that insurance may not ask the government for subsidies if they choose to offer coverage to an illegal alien

    ----

    What if they (wink, wink) don't know they're offering coverage to an illegal alien? Unless required to verify, it seems like all the insurance company has to do is not ask the immigration status and they're OK to receive the subsidy. It's the old story of not just having a law, but a way to fund it or carry it out so that it's not meaningless. Regardless of what the law says, are there loopholes? It's easy to write a law and intentionally render it unenforceable.
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