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More on the Joe Wilson Fiasco - Illegal Immigrants Really Won't Get Insurance Under the Bill

September 10, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

By now, whether you watched the speech last night or not, you’ve probably heard that a member of Congress, Rep. Addison “Joe” Wilson [R, SC-2], shouted “You lie!” in response to President Obama’s statement that healthcare reform will not subsidize insurance for illegal immigrants. Last night after the speech, Conor posted on this blog an explanation of why the President is right and Wilson is wrong – the bill specifically bans illegal immigrants from receiving funds under the bill. The prohibition is contained in sections 246, entitled “No Federal Payments for Undocumented Aliens.”

But as you can see form the comments on Conor’s post, this is not enough to quell concerns.

Conservatives, for example Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, cite a non-partisan Congressional Research Service report (pdf) to back up their claims that, despite the legislative text to the contrary, the bill will cover illegal immigrants. “Since HR3200 doesn’t require people to establish citizenship or legal residency before applying to exchanges for health insurance, including the public option, taxpayer money will certainly flow to illegal immigrants,” Morrissey writes.

The CRS report does in fact state that “H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange.” But being able to participate and buy insurance through the Exchange would not make it possible for illegal immigrants to get their insurance subsidized. They would be able to purchase insurance through the public option, but they would have to pay full market rates for the policy. The public option and the exchange are available to everyone who is shopping for healthcare, whether they are receiving subsidies and affordability credits or not.

A critically important point here is that the public option will not be federally funded. It will be funded entirely by premiums paid by individuals, just like private insurance companies are. The bill does authorize $2 billion in start-up funds for the public option, but it stipulates that the money must be paid back within two years of the public option taking effect.

Ed Morrissey also brings up a second point in his post at Hot Air. He says that even though the bill specifically bans illegal immigrants from receiving subsidies in the form of affordability credits, it doesn’t provide a strong enforcement mechanism. Indeed, the CRS report states, “absent of a provision in the bill specifying the verification procedure, that the Commissioner would be responsible for determining a mechanism to verify the eligibility of noncitizens for the credits.” The CRS does not say that they think the Commissioner would fail to create a strong enforcement mechanism. That’s all Morrissey. Under the bill, the Commissioner will be required by law to create a mechanism complying with the bill’s requirement that “nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.” You can argue that the Commissioner will fail in this respect, but that would be an abdication of the law as passed by Congress, not a function of the legislation.

Congress could go a step further and spell out their own enforcement mechanism for making sure illegal immigrants don’t get insurance subsidies. Perhaps they should if they think they can do a better job that the Commissioner. But based on the House healthcare bill as currently written, any illegal immigrant receiving insurance backed by federal dollars under the bill would be a failure of government officials in implementation, not a failure of Congress in legislating.

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Comments

Displaying 31-54 of 54 total comments.

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 6:37pm
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    Joe Wilson is a Racist Bonehead! And everyone who applauds his behavior is also!!!

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 6:42pm
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    The WHITE presidents were never Disrespected this way. Joe Wilson should not be praised but condemned!!!!!!!! This is a shameful display to the world!!!!!! Republicans should be walking in Shame today!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 7:23pm

    Thanks for saying what I could not Joe! I respect a man that will speak the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 7:27pm

    DEMOCRATS IGNORE THE LAW MUCH RULES, ONLY REPUBLICANS ARE SUPPOSED TO STAY IN THE LAW AND ARE MADE TO RESIGN OR APOLOGIZE IF THEY DON’T. DEMS ARE THE MOST HYPOCRITICAL IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. DID PELOSI APOLOGIZE OR RESIGN BECAUSE SHE LIED ABOUT WATERBOARDING BRIEFS? NO. OBAMA LIES EVERYTIME HE OPENS HIS MOUTH. THEY ARE OUT TO DESTROY THE CONSTITUTION!

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 7:29pm

    GEORGE WAS DISRESPECTED EVERY TIME A LIBERAL OPENED ITS MOUTH!

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 7:30pm

    GUILTY DOG BARKS FIRST. THE FIRST PEOPLE TO CRY RACISM ARE ACTUALLY THE RACISTS!

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 7:32pm
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    THE FOUL POLITICIANS ARE MOSTLY FROM NY, CHICAGO (ALL OF THE PRESIDENTS MEN), CALI (PELOSI), AND NV (HARRY REID)

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 7:34pm
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    WHAT IS WRONG WITH BEING A FLAG WAVER?

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 7:35pm
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    CHARLIE SHEEN IS JUST ONE MORE IDIOT TO ADD TO THE PILE. 911 TRUTHERS. WHAT A BUNCH OF LOONEY TOONS.

  • Anonymous 09/10/2009 8:33pm

    Where did Joe think he was? At a “tea party” town hall meeting? Nice job of reminding the rest of the world that South Carolina is just a collection of yahoo’s killin’ time until the next football game. Am I wrong? – Prove it. Act in a civil manner. Wear shoes. Use a fork. Wear a shirt. There is a reason why Wilson’s website is down, and it’s not because everybody’s trying to pat him on the back… His own party disowned him last night – faster than you can say HICK.

  • gizmo7747 09/11/2009 4:37am

    So what is being said here is that the bill states that no fund for these people but the possibility is there for corruption of the intent.

    Fact the house ways and means voted down a amendment to correct this along party line i.e. democratic lines.

    If you go over the speech that Mr. Obama gave it is riddles with half truths and blatant lies so even if “joe” didn’t use his noodle he said what most Americans with any sense want to say!

    This President has given more speeches that days in office, if in my business the main guy me, if all I did was talk and talk and not take care of the business at hand my business would not last.

    I think as an average American when i see my elected top official Talk more than do it concerns me.

    Get to work, less talk and more concrete action is needed more than ever, in which I personally believe. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.

  • Anonymous 09/11/2009 5:26am

    All of you should just get used to the fact that this bill is going to pass whether you agree with it or not! Everyone is so worried about imigrants getting healthcare beneifits, that they would be willing to throw their fellow Americans under the bus just to stop it. I don’t agree with illegal immigrants being able to have all of this benefits, but that is going to be another battle. We can’t fix everything at once, and I’m tired of listening to all of these Liberal pricks complaining. You know who ticks me off almost as much as illegal alliens? Americans who want everything, but aren’t willing to make any sacrafices!!!

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 09/11/2009 4:19pm

    I don’t think it is so much people wanting to “throw their fellow Americans under the bus” as people being, as I see it quite sensibly, worried about the amount of national debt we will be adding to an already large debt with just our legal citezens being covered. I am personally against the bill for this reason and also because, the fact of the matter is, the majority of Americans who do not have health care are unemployed and are not searching for work.

  • Anonymous 09/11/2009 5:38am
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    And he wouldn’t have to give speeches so much if he didn’t have to defend himself against all you the smears and lies for a certain group of people and their scare tactics.

  • Anonymous 09/11/2009 6:03am

    Thank you Joe for saying what I would have, given the opportunity. The double standard rises again, Demos do what I say not what I do!

    What is all the Racist talk – is racist toward the white Obama (50%) or the Arab Obama or less than 7% black Obama (his lips). Why do you think his ears are so large.

    The differenc between God and Obama is that God does not think he is Obama.

  • Anonymous 09/11/2009 6:44am

    Joe Wilson apologized for his “inappropriate behaviour”, but his campaign requests contributions based on it. Some apology!!!!

    The physicians credo: “First do no harm” requires them to treat the ill who would be harmed by ignoring their “brother’s” problem.

    How can you claim this is a Christian nation when you ignore Christ’s 2nd Commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself”?

  • Anonymous 09/11/2009 7:15am

    Joe Wilson is an embarrassment to his district, his state, his institution, and his country. IF the people of South Carolina had any sense whatsover, they would recall him. But seeing SC’s governor and other political figures that have been elected, my hopes are not high.

  • Anonymous 09/11/2009 9:19am

    What’s interesting is that the beef the Republican party has is the lack of requiring proof of citizenship, then Joe Wilson’s own website has just a little check box for people to say they aren’t foreign nationals. What no box for scanning your passport or birth certificate along with a picture of yourself with today’s New York Times?

    Also, check your facts. There are plenty of issues with health care reform, beyond immigrants. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/09/obamas-health-care-speech/

  • Anonymous 09/11/2009 2:10pm

    Thanks for speaking up for all Americans, Joe! Obama made no reference to the mass majority of people who are opposed to big government’s grab for one more control over Americans. Everything is about control, not freedom. What you said irritated the liberal government, and the fact that you dared to say it upset them even more!

    I wish you much success in your bid for Congress again. South Carolina is lucky to have you.

    An Arkansas Patriot

  • Anonymous 09/11/2009 4:14pm

    Although Rep. Wilson’s comment was out of line, I can’t help but believe that he is correct. I am personally against the health care bill entirely, for the simple reason that it will over double our national debt and also not help families (in most cases) who are already paying for their health care through their employers. What evidence has President Obama given us that he will keep his word? Where is the evidence that he is going to protect the rights of those who believe differently than him? I have seen very little.

  • Patriot12 09/11/2009 4:26pm

    Seems it’s ok for Queen Pelosi to call her “subjects”- ( americans who participate in their RIGHT at Tea parties, town meetings, etc,) “NAZI’S”,and Terriorist’s,VAN JONES called republicans A—holes in a public meeting. Then, of course, Our GREAT Harry Reid, a liar TWICE while on the4 Senate floor. What hiprocrscy!! Our civil, gracious Republicans didn’t do anything. Besides, Joe told the TRUTH- unlike the democ-Rats!

  • Patriot12 09/11/2009 5:44pm

    Seems no one can take the truth- when I stated names that Pelosi, Van Jones, and Harry Reid made, that were derogatory to Repubs, andependents and others, the letter "disappeared’. Same old rotten bias media, huh?- Et tu, brute?

  • Anonymous 09/12/2009 2:21pm

    THANK YOU for having the courage to speak up.

  • Anonymous 09/15/2009 6:05pm

    Good job Joe. But even if this bill passes there will be a lot of democ-rats out looking for a new job in 2 years that wont be there. And for all you democ-rats out there was it not your party that got us in the Vatnam war where we lost 60,000 + men And was it not your party that first took money out of our SS. to use for your pork spending.

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