Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rep. Joe Wilson... was he right?

     So today in the House of Representatives, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) had an "emotional outburst" and yelled "You lie!" at President Obama after the President's speech on health care in the chamber, against Obama's assertion that he has never proposed that the government cover health care for illegal aliens.  For which the South Carolina Congressman has apologized and yada yada yada.

     Well... It seems to me that the "fact-checkers" like have not been as thorough as I might have hoped.  There are reports in conservative media that Obama has been caught lying over and over again, constructively, about the increased access that illegal aliens will have to health care paid for by the US government.

     Examples include:

     Mickey Kaus, a supporter of universal health care, in such as: "...Illegal immigrants will too get health insurance under the current Democratic proposals. They’re technically not eligible, maybe–but their eligibility probably won’t be verified. And Dems have rejected amendments to require verification."

     According to Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, Jerry Kammer wrote:

     In an interview on the program "Al Punto," White House Director of Hispanic Media Luis Miranda acknowledged that coverage would not be provided to illegals. Then he immediately added, "Precisely because of that we are working for reform of immigration laws." Presto-change-o, problem solved, with coverage for all those formerly illegal immigrants."

     In the Center for Immigration Studies report Health Reform Legislation and Immigration bJames R. Edwards Jr., August 2009, I found:

     "Bear in mind, Government agencies and nonprofits often look only at income levels and similar qualifiers when enrolling new beneficiaries in public programs like Medicaid and SCHIP. They often overlook immigration status, even though that could disqualify someone from program participation. [Emphasis mine.]

     "Health reform legislation, particularly H.R. 3200 (pdf file), contains a number of provisions that open the door to taxpayer funding of immigrants’ health care. That’s for illegal aliens, legal aliens who are supposed to rely on their sponsor for financial assistance their first five years here, and certain immigrants who sponsor other immigrants.

     "In brief:

  •      "Despite nominally barring illegal immigrants from receiving a health-insurance subsidy, an amendment to require that applicants be screened for eligibility — as are all other welfare recipients — was rejected on a party-line vote. [Emphasis mine.]

  •      "Even legal immigrants whose sponsors are supposed to provide them financial support would be eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies.

  •      "Certain legal immigrants who qualify for premium subsidies or expanded Medicaid would also be able to sponsor new immigrants, whom they would have to pledge to support.

  •      "Illegal immigrants would be exempt from the legal mandate to have health insurance, but they’d still receive taxpayer-funded medical services at health clinics and hospitals required to serve all those presenting with medical emergencies."

     In the National Review, Kevin Williamson, to summarize, basically says that illegal aliens get around legal restrictions to access health care through loopholes already present in the Medicare and Medicaid systems, and since there are no provisions in HR 3200 and similar legislation from the Democrats to otherwise prevent illegal aliens from accessing government-provided health care, the American people will end up subsidizing even more, perhaps a lot more, of the health care of illegals.

     I would also say, as Williamson and others do, that it is Obama who is lying by omission.  A lie of omission is still a lie.

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