I was planning on analyzing the President’s speech to inform our readers about the newest details of the proposed legislation. But, there really isn’t anything new to report in that regard. Obama did not disclose any new wrinkles or direction. Essentially he took ownership of HR 3200 as HIS plan. Now it’s time for Congress to act: pass it, amend it, dump it. Either the votes are there or they aren’t. The trick will be to get Congress to do SOMETHING. It seems to me that they’re a pretty dysfunctional bunch and have been so for a couple of years. The two major parties remind me of Spy vs Spy. Ironic that Tuesday’s high school kids were a better behaved bunch than our Twittering, heckling elected officials. And until the Cliff notes are released, they may never get around to understanding it.
This brings me to Rep. Wilson’s outburst. Can Grahall be the only ones who’ve read and understand the bill? The President says that no Federal money will go to illegal aliens. This is right in the bill, plain and simple.
Sec 246 — NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS -Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
So what is Wilson’s beef? According to the Congressional Research Services (“CRS”) analysis, nothing in HR 3200 would preclude an illegal alien from participating in the US health care system. This is also correct. I know the people who consult to CRS and they know what they’re talking about. If I was still connected with them I’d probably have written the same analysis.
The two do not contradict each other.
Any visitor to our country, legal or illegal, may at some time need health care services while in the US. Tourists get sick. Foreigners here on business have accidents. Maybe they need a doctor, or a prescription, or a hospital. Our health care system will continue to serve them. What will change is that in order to receive care all people, foreign or not will need to produce a valid insurance card or pay cash. Uncompensated care will no longer be available to illegals via Federal funding, as stated in Sec 246. In short, illegals will be not able to receive Federal financial support for their care.
CRS also determined that nothing in HR 3200 would preclude illegals from purchasing insurance. This is also correct. All they’d need to do is register, which means identifying themselves. Small detail.
In many instances when a foreigner enters a country they can purchase insurance for the length of their stay. This is not a novel concept.
By the way, not to pat ourselves on the back, but these arrangements are EXACTLY what we proposed in our blog “OK Wise Guy What Would YOU Do?” posted July 16, 2009.
So this has been clear to us and hopefully now it’s clear to Rep Wilson as well. In his defense, the bill could have been a little shorter and a little less complex. But if he feels that the bill’s language does not limit illegal aliens to his satisfaction, why doesn’t he propose alternative language that he feels does?
There is much legitimate disagreement about many aspects of the reform bills, but the treatment of illegals does not seem to be one of them. If Congress can’t come to agreement on this aspect, what are the prospects of coming together over the rest?
Come on Congress, do your job!
Contact Robert Cirkiel at firstname.lastname@example.org