On Monday, Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File took up my article from Friday in which I reported that California’s state Obamacare exchange, Covered California, is recruiting illegal aliens to enroll in the program. I cited the Covered California website, where a page advises, in Spanish: “Fear not if you are undocumented and want to enroll your family in health insurance.” It appeared that Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), of “You lie!” fame, was right about the policy and illegal aliens.
The Cato Institute’s Michael Cannnon told host Megyn Kelly that while Wilson was correct, it was not for the reasons that I cited. Instead, he argued, illegal aliens can take advantage of Obamacare reforms when they buy insurance outside of an Obamacare exchange. The Covered California website, he said, was merely attempting to reach out to illegal aliens whose family members might have legal status even if they do not, and encouraging them to enroll in the program anyway.
That strikes me as a distinction without a difference. The language of the web page is ambiguous. Elsewhere on the website, in the FAQ section, it indicates that legal residency is required to buy insurance through Covered California, but that point is contradicted by the idea that illegal aliens would be encouraged to buy insurance for family members. It seems to me that the likely intent is to enroll as many people as possible, and then weed people out later, boosting numbers in the meantime.