Some Dems Push Back On Obama’s Proposed Ban On Illegal Immigrants Buying Insurance
Questions abound about immigration and health care reform as the two issues become increasingly linked.
The Los Angeles Times reports: "Trying to quell a conservative uproar over his healthcare agenda, President Obama has proposed barring illegal immigrants from a possible government-arranged health insurance marketplace -- even if the immigrants pay with their own money. The move has surprised some of Obama's fellow Democrats and infuriated immigrant advocates, who on Tuesday attacked the position as political pandering and bad policy. The White House revealed its stance Friday" (Wallsten, 9/16).
The Associated Press reports that "White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that is what Obama intended all along. Also, a system would be created to verify people buying from the exchange are in the country legally, he said."
"Democrats said the health care proposals were to bar undocumented immigrants from getting any tax-supported subsidies to buy health insurance, but not prevent them from using their own money to buy private insurance. The proposed exchange would allow consumers and small businesses to shop for insurance and compare prices in a regulated, competitive environment. 'There's a consensus undocumented will not be able to have any subsidies. To deny those undocumented folks who could afford private insurance plans to do so, what's the rationale?' said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. One of the points of health care reform is to reduce the use of emergency rooms by the uninsured, Honda said. The White House said illegal immigrants could use their own money to buy coverage from the few private insurance companies that will still sell insurance outside the exchange" (Gamboa, 9/15).
Politico reports: "There are increasing signs that two of the hottest hot-button issues in town - health care reform and immigration - are becoming inextricably linked. And that's bad news for President Barack Obama as he tries to fashion a compromise. The irony for Obama, of course, is that he's tried to put immigration reform on the back burner this year - to clear the way for the massive health reform fight - and now it's health reform that's dragging the immigration issue back into the spotlight" (Budoff Brown, 9/16).