Most of the prominent 2020 Democrat presidential candidates said that illegal immigrants should have access to free health care either under Medicare for All, a public option, or other government health programs.
According to a New York Times survey, eleven 2020 Democrat presidential candidates backed free healthcare for illegal immigrants either under Medicare for All or a public option, while eight Democrats either did not answer the question or did not provide a clear answer.
Here are the 2020 Democrats that backed health care for illegal immigrants:
- Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) said, “Undocumented immigrants should have the option of purchasing health insurance on the exchange.”
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said:
- Access to quality, affordable health care is a human right. We need to make our health care system more effective and efficient, and we must pass comprehensive immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship for those already living in the United States.
- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said, “Undocumented immigrants should be able to buy coverage through the public option.”
- Julian Castro said yes, explaining:
- Undocumented immigrants pay taxes and are contributing members of our communities. I believe they should be eligible for government health care support and put on a pathway to citizenship. I look forward to putting forward a health care plan that addresses the health care gap for undocumented families.
- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said yes, explaining, “I support the process outlined in the Medicare for All bill, which ensures universal coverage.”
- Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) said yes, explaining:
They would be allowed to buy into my public option. Under current law, hospitals in the U.S. cannot refuse to treat patients who need care. Therefore, our system already pays for health care for undocumented immigrants — usually through emergency rooms, which are the most expensive form of care.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign said yes, explaining, “Medicare for All means just that: all. Bernie’s plan would provide coverage to all U.S. residents, regardless of immigration status.”
- Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) said yes, explaining, “It is in society’s interest to have everyone be as healthy as possible, and that’s achieved through access to affordable health care for everyone.”
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said yes, explaining that “Health care is a basic human right.”
- Marianne Williamson said yes.
- Businessman Andrew Yang said yes, explaining, “I believe in a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. Anyone who applied for that pathway would be eligible to buy into the Medicare for All system.”
Here are the 2020 Democrats that did not back health care for illegal immigrants or did not answer the question:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden did not answer the question.
- Montana Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock said no, explaining:
Comprehensive immigration reform that protects our border, helps the Dreamers who have known no other home than ours, and provides a path to citizenship for immigrants who have been part of the fabric of our country for many years is the best way to address health coverage for people who want to become American citizens.
- Former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) said no, saying, “I support comprehensive immigration reform which provides a pathway to citizenship.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) did not answer yes or no to the Times‘ question, although she said that she would support healthcare for those on a pathway towards U.S. citizenship. Gillibrand said:
As is outlined in the Senate Medicare for All bill, Senator Gillibrand supports extending health care coverage to all U.S. residents as defined by H.H.S. Residents will receive coverage provided that they are paying into the health care system, and are on a pathway to citizenship.
- Oregon Gov. Jay Inslee did not answer yes or no but said:
Our goal must be to ensure that everyone in America has health insurance and enjoys a right to health care. To help accomplish this, we must also quickly create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and I will do so as president.
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) did not answer the question.
- Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) did not answer yes or no but said:
This issue is one of many reasons Beto believes that comprehensive immigration reform must be a top priority. Because our laws rightly require hospitals to provide care to everyone, the cost of care for uninsured individuals is currently shifted onto other consumers. Therefore, it is in everyone’s interest to provide a pathway for obtaining insurance.
- Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) said no.
Many 2020 Democrats’ embrace of giving health care to illegal immigrants raises the question over whether it will only increase America’s illegal immigration problem.
As Breitbart News’ Joel Pollak noted in October, “You can’t have universal health care and open borders.”
“The same people who say we should have “Medicare for All” also want to allow as many immigrants into the country as possible — legal or illegal,” Pollak explained. “That would swiftly bankrupt and destroy whatever health care the government managed to provide, leaving Americans with nothing.”
Further, 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate and former Congressman Ron Paul contended that America’s current welfare system encourages more illegal immigration.
To solve the problem, Paul contended that America should make it harder for illegal immigrants to access American welfare. Paul said that to fix illegal immigration there should not be “a penny in welfare for immigrants. It’s really that simple.”
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