As California remains poised to adopt a bill that would give full Medicaid benefits to illegal immigrants, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and other Senate Republicans proposed legislation to block leftist states from forcing Americans to subsidize programs that expand benefits to illegal immigrants.
The bill would offer illegal aliens full Medicaid benefits as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to create a universal healthcare system.
Sens. Cassidy, John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), David Perdue (R-GA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Protect Medicaid Act (S. 131) to ensure that leftist states cannot bilk Medicaid to subsidize programs that expand Medicaid benefits to illegal immigrants.
Federal law prevents illegal immigrants from receiving Medicaid; however, states such as California exploit a loophole by using state funds to extend Medicaid benefits to illegal aliens. Newsom’s plan could allow up to 90,000 illegal immigrants to receive Medicaid coverage. California plans to use an exploit to offset the new expansion using Medicaid — roughly $24 million of the
$98 million in the first year will be offset in the first year.
Sen. Cassidy’s Protect Medicaid Act prohibits states from using federal money to administer state Medicaid benefits, paid for by Americans citizens, to illegal immigrants. If a state such as California chooses to give Medicaid benefits to illegal aliens, the Lousiana senator’s bill stipulates that the state does so on its budget.
Sen Cassidy said in a statement Sunday:
Governor Newsom’s plan is a giant magnet for more illegal immigration, and it will hurt California citizens who depend on Medicaid. Simple math says you can’t add the entire population of another country to Medicaid and still take care of the American citizens who need it. In addition, the plan is unfair to vulnerable Americans and it’s not fair to middle-class families paying taxes—taking care of them should be our priority. Compassion that cannot be sustained is not compassion.
Sen. Cassidy’s legislation also requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) to review and report on:
- How states that provide Medicaid benefits to illegal immigrants keep federal and state dollars separate.
- Whether states providing health benefits to illegal aliens use budget gimmicks to bilk the federal government, such as provider taxes and intergovernmental transfers, to launder federal dollars to offset the cost of providing benefits to this population.
- Whether illegal immigrants benefit from covered outpatient drugs purchased under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and the 340B program, and whether this impacts the prices American citizens pay.
“Tennesseans and the American people do not want their tax dollars subsidizing Medicaid for illegal immigrants,” Sen. Blackburn said. “At a time when Medicaid is being stretched to the breaking point, the last thing we need are liberal states like California circumventing federal law to give those dollars to illegals at the expense of vulnerable American citizens.”
“This is absolutely outrageous and only underscores the fact that California continues to put politics over the safety and security of American citizens,” said Sen. Perdue. “Ultimately, this kind of abuse of entitlement programs contributes to our $21 trillion debt crisis. We will not stand idly by and watch California and other sanctuary states skirt federal law to dole out taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal aliens.”
“Medicaid is an important program for millions of patients,” said Sen. Barrasso. “Congress must focus on improving care for Americans in need. Taxpayers need to know that their hard-earned money is not expanding health care for illegal immigrants.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.