The Obamacare 2.0 bill pushed by some Republicans strips out even Obamacare’s weak protections preventing illegal aliens from signing up for health care meant for citizens.
A draft of the bill, released by the House Committee on Ways and Means, cannot even include bare-bones provisions requiring officials to check an enrollee’s immigration status, the Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz warns, calling it a “gift to illegal aliens.”
Obamacare included provisions from an earlier bill allowing illegal aliens with fraudulent documents to apply while the government and Obamacare managers looked the other way. Eager for welfare state clients and looking to grease the skids for a massive amnesty down the road, Obamacare navigators signed up thousands of illegal aliens for benefits.
“President Obama had already paved the path for illegal alien Obamacare when he signed the massive expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) in 2009,” conservative author Michelle Malkin explained in March 2014. “As I’ve reported previously, the 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. In addition, Obama’s S-CHIP expansion revoked Medicaid application time limits that were part of the 1996 welfare reform law.”
Obamacare has no meaningful, robust protections in place against illegal aliens claiming health care. The law claimed to exclude illegals, but in practice, made no effort to verify that the people applying for health care were citizens. Now, Republicans are about to take that problem and make it much worse by gutting enforcement, Horowitz says:
Although Obamacare didn’t require photo ID and fingerprints to verify identity, it did harness the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database. Thus, officials were at least able to check immigration status against Social Security numbers.
The problem with this bill is that because it tweaks Obamacare and creates a new massive entitlement system through the budget reconciliation process, it cannot have the statutory effect of mandating HHS and IRS work with Citizenship and Immigration Services to use the SAVE database because that issue is outside the jurisdiction of the reporting committees. And no subject matter from other committees can be included in reconciliation.
Thus, to pass Obamacare 2.0 instead of plain repeal via budget reconciliation, Republicans must use weaker verification language.
Allowing illegals access to health care through fraud is a disastrous move, Horowitz shows. What Republicans are doing is almost inexplicable: Ramping up the most punishing aspects of Obamacare while removing even its fig-leaf requirements against granting illegal aliens health care. Except, according to Horowitz, they never intended to repeal the “meat and potatoes” of Obamacare at all.
There’s also the deeply troubling aspect of Republicans encouraging illegal immigration with enticing incentives and promises not to punish law-breakers. Illegal alien identity theft is a serious, widespread problem. Since it’s all but impossible to work and collect benefits in the U.S. without valid ID and documentation, illegals commit felonies to steal Americans’ Social Security numbers and forge tax documents.
“The demand is so great for counterfeit documents because the illegal alien population wants to work—that’s the majority of their motivation for wanting to come to this country,” one former immigration officer told Fox News in December. “So there’s a huge demand for those documents that are required to pass the employment eligibility verification procedures…. In every neighborhood where there’s a significant illegal alien population, there are at least several document vendors who supply this service,” he said. Illegals typically buy three fraudulent documents: A counterfeit resident alien card or work authorization card, plus a counterfeit California driver’s license, and a counterfeit Social Security card, which costs about $120 to $300. He encountered at least one hundred illegals during his career with voter registration cards who admitted they had voted in a U.S. election.
With well over ten million illegals in the U.S. and so many buying up fake documents, there will almost certainly be a massive rush to claim health care benefits, especially with liberals looking to sign up illegals to “resist” against the Trump administration.
“If nothing is done, Obamacare 2.0 will contain the same verification provisions as the original version that have enabled illegal aliens engaging in identity fraud to access the subsidies,” Horowitz writes.
It’s an insult to injury for Americans victimized by mass immigration policies and punishing healthcare regulations. Yet some Republicans seem eager to inflict more pain on the very voters who put them in power. Poll after poll shows Trump’s immigration policies prioritizing Americans, particularly struggling and vulnerable citizens, over foreigners are hugely popular with voters. Republicans in Congress ignore these voters and their pleas for affordable health care and immigration enforcement at their own peril.