It started even before the first Obamacare health exchange took our money. An irresistible opportunity beckoned to turn inclusion into a dirty word. Despite all their promises, could Democrats find a way to give health care benefits to the one group they told us we would not have to pay for?
Inclusion breaks a promise
In his push to support adding our unauthorized residents to the Obamacare rolls months before the ACA became law, Congressman Mike Honda talked about the “impact of immigrant inclusion on containing health care costs for all Americans …”1 The left has yet to give up on the myth that handing health care benefits to people with low incomes slashes costs, but in this case there is a kernel of truth to what Honda said. We don’t have the courage to refuse to treat illegals in emergency rooms when they can’t pay on the spot. If we did, the costs wouldn’t be an issue.
That’s as much truth as we should expect. On Tuesday we heard from Democratic presidential candidates about their plans for unauthorized residents, our wallets, and Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges. For Hillary Clinton it was all about undocumented children, a shameful calculation to ingratiate her tarnished image and further proof that no politician will pass up a chance to use kids to look good. Martin O’Malley? He plans to sell us out by opening health exchanges to illegals. Jim Webb agrees.3
No Democrat in the debate mentioned anything about violating a promise to taxpayers.
If the idea to confer this benefit gains traction, the next step will be to assure us that unauthorized immigrants who purchase insurance from exchanges won’t receive subsidies. That’s going too far for many of us who remember promises that it would snow in hell before illegals would qualify for Obamacare.
Once the exchanges are handed over, giving away subsidies is just a stroke of the pen away.
Obama promises no inclusion
President Obama has repeatedly promised the American people that illegals would not receive subsidized health care, including those temporarily made legal as part of that long, hard Democratic pathway to citizenship we keep hearing about.
The president calls this “playing by the rules.”4 Others in his party would happily turn him into a liar if it meant they could pass out more federal benefits. There is nothing like false need to create the urgency for a tax increase.
Loose cannon and rabble-rouser Luis Gutierrez hasn’t wasted any time getting behind this one. His newest plan to favor immigrants and stick it to the American people puts a whole new spin on the meaning of inclusion.
Inclusion goes from dirty word to obscenity
We can usually spot a bad bill by its title. Congressman Gutierrez’s “Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act of 2015” practically screams LIE! despite his using the pope’s visit5 and social agenda to justify selling us even further down the health care river. Like Obama calling amnesty “accountability,” the remarks announcing this new plot to give the unauthorized what they don’t deserve makes eligibility for insurance sound like punishment:
So those not covered by insurance through their employer, regardless of immigration status, would have to purchase health insurance through the exchanges provided they establish state residency and file taxes (which most immigrants already do). They would also have access to subsidies, if they qualify.6
Did we hear that correctly? Illegals aren’t supposed to work. They are unauthorized. Who knows whether they file taxes? The only Social Security numbers they have are stolen or purchased on the black market.
The worst thing about this is that offering subsidies opens the door to handing out more federal benefits, from food stamps to unemployment insurance. That makes inclusion more than just a dirty word. For taxpayers, this would be an obscenity.
Proof that Democrats can’t be trusted
The good news is that H.R. 3659 was doomed from the start, but the minuscule chance of passage is not what makes it so dangerous. There is a vast population of undocumented residents and a lot of anger to arouse. The coming months will be all about manipulating that anger. It’s hard to threaten people with taking away something they don’t have, but telling them that they should be entitled to something they aren’t getting is almost as good.
No matter how egregious the scheme, the flag waving from the left on behalf of undocumented immigrants never stops. Gutierrez claims that inclusion in the health exchanges will lower costs for hospitals.7
Wouldn’t deporting these people under current law be an easier way to do the same thing while proving that Democrats can keep a promise?