Health Care for Illegal Aliens, You Go First

Two issues discussed and chanted at the Norm Dicks town hall bear further discussion. Well, more than two do, but let’s at least start with these. I’m on vacation after this blog post, but I’m kind of energized by the subject matter, so it’s remotely possible I’ll post something on this between now and next week. I’ve got nowhere else to go.

The first issue is illegal immigrants. One questioner asked how many of the estimated 46 million uninsured are illegal aliens. Dicks said he thought maybe 5 percent. He was rightly disputed by many in the audience, but some of the peanut gallery’s estimates were way off on the other side.

According to this story in the Baltimore Sun, the number is around 15 percent.

On PolitiFact there is an analysis of the others who make up the uninsured.

Another entry takes a look at the claim that illegal alien will get free services, or will qualify for the program. Bogus, says PolitiFact.

Perhaps we need to ask why illegal aliens is an issue, other than in the 46 million people question. I don’t see how health care reform changes how illegal aliens are treated at all.

The “You go first” chant arose out of a question as to whether members of Congress would all take the public option if it was part of the final bill.

Well, they would have that opportunity. The public option is a basic insurance package. Dicks’ answer was to say Congress is trying to make it so no one has to go to the public option if the plan they have is one they like, which is a subject worthy of its own post. The idea he discussed, however, would presumably apply to members of Congress.

The Los Angeles Times explains that federal health care benefits are pretty nice. Government employees get a range of options to choose from, but there’s no difference between what members of Congress get and, as Obama said, “the janitor that cleans their offices.”

The point is that those chanting “You go first” at Monday’s meeting are saying members of Congress should be required to choose the public option. Most Democrats don’t believe that’s a fair demand.

2 thoughts on “Health Care for Illegal Aliens, You Go First

  1. Because of the policies in certain states, hospitals and care centers are prohibited from asking or verifying citizenship. Simple ID like a driver’s license should suffice in many states that are restrictive in there issuance of driver’s licenses. They require proof of legal entry in order to get a driver’s license. Washington certainly isn’t one of them.

    I have no trouble with even illegals under 16 being treated, but mature criminals can go to the prisons to get their treatment for free. It is insanity to make it a crime to enter illegally and then reward them with schooling, medical treatment, and free translators if they break the law.

    There are states that don’t respect the federal laws now. Why would they not cover up abuse of federal health care laws?

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