Facing enormous public opposition galvanized by Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) outburst, the White House initially backtracked on illegal aliens and healthcare reform. The latest Obama administration position is this: Illegal aliens will not only be ineligible to receive taxpayer funded subsidies for healthcare, now they will not even be able to purchase health insurance with their own funds in a government-created marketplace.
Here's the story according to The Associated Press:
"The White House said last week that President Barack Obama will oppose allowing illegal immigrants to buy insurance through the purchasing exchanges, including from participating private companies…Also, a system would be created to verify people buying from the exchange are in the country legally, he said."
Of course, the White House claims this was the Obama policy from the very beginning. Not true. Even Congressional Democrats were confused by the switch.
"I'm not sure if Gibbs misspoke," Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Tuesday.
Rep. Wilson's outburst during Obama's healthcare speech before Congress last week drew heavy and sustained criticism from the liberal press and their hypocritical allies in Congress, but it also brought attention to one of the most objectionable components of Obamacare, and this has clearly had an impact. So have the many polls indicating that the public adamantly opposes extending healthcare benefits to illegals.
In fact, according to a nationwide Pulse Opinion Research poll, 53% of liberals and progressives believe providing healthcare to undocumented aliens is a bad idea. And almost half – 46% - agree with Rep. Wilson that Obama's plan as described would provide healthcare coverage to illegal immigrants. If Obama can't even get leftist radicals to buy off on the idea, it has absolutely no shot with mainstream Americans.
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) immediately seized on the Obama administration's policy reversal, saying that he would include in his bill a provision that would bar illegals from purchasing insurance through these taxpayer-subsidized exchanges, even if illegals are willing and able to pay the full cost.
But hold on. What do you do if you are President Obama and want to give taxpayer-subsidized healthcare to illegal immigrants despite overwhelming public opposition? You make all the illegal aliens into legal immigrants by granting them amnesty! And then you throw out longstanding federal policy and give taxpayer subsidies to legal immigrants who are not citizens!
This Washington Times headline says it all: "Obama: Legalize Illegals To Get Them Health Care."
This Obama two-step on healthcare for illegals is about the worst example of presidential policy deception I've seen in my 23 years in Washington. Congressman Wilson may have been ill-mannered, but I now doubt he was inaccurate.
Make your voice heard on healthcare reform. Call your senators and congressman today. Here's the number to the Capitol Hill switchboard: 202-224-3121. To let President Obama know your views, the White House comments line is 202-456-1111. (And don't underestimate the value of letters directly from you to your representatives in Congress and to the White House.)
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