DAVIE, FL --
Democrats want to ration health care for everyone in America -- except those who break our immigration laws. The House Ways and Means Committee defeated an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from using the so-called "public health insurance option."
Every Democrat on the panel voted against the measure.
Nevada GOP Rep. Dean Heller's measure would have enforced income, eligibility and immigration verification screening on all ObamaCare patients. Heller proposed using existing state and federal databases created years ago to root out entitlement fraud.
If congressional Democrats are truly committed to President Obama's quest to wring cost savings from the system, why won't they adopt the same anti-fraud checks imposed on other government health and welfare beneficiaries?
The Democrat leadership denies that an estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens will receive taxpayer-subsidized health insurance coverage. Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., calls the proposition "too politically explosive."
But Obama lit the fuse in February when he signed the massive expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. That law loosened eligibility requirements for legal immigrants and their children by watering down document and evidentiary standards -- making it easy for individuals to use fake Social Security cards to apply for benefits with little to no chance of getting caught.
Immigration analyst James R. Edwards Jr. reported in National Review that "no health legislation on the table requires federal, state or local agencies -- or private institutions receiving federal funds -- to check the immigration status of health-program applicants, so some of the money distributed via Medicaid and tax credits inevitably would go to illegal aliens." Moreover, the Senate Finance Committee plan creates a new preference for illegal aliens by exempting them from the mandate to buy insurance.
That's right. Law-abiding, uninsured Americans would be fined if they didn't submit to the ObamaCare prescription. Law-breaking border-crossers, visa-overstayers and deportation fugitives would be spared.
The solution is not to give them health insurance but to turn off the magnets that draw them to enter illegally in the first place.
For years, advocates of uncontrolled immigration have argued that illegal aliens are not getting free health care, and that even if they were, they would not be draining government budgets. The fiscal crisis in California gives lie to those talking points. In March, the Associated Press reported that Sacramento and Contra Costa counties were slashing staff and closing clinics because of the prohibitive costs of providing non-emergency health services for illegal aliens.
At a time when Democrat leaders are pushing rationed care in a world of limited resources, Americans might wonder where the call for shared sacrifice is from illegal alien patients like those in Los Angeles getting free liver and kidney transplants at UCLA Medical Center.
"I'm just mad," illegal alien Jose Lopez told the Los Angeles Times last year after receiving two taxpayer-subsidized liver transplants while impatiently awaiting approval for state health insurance.
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