Time and again Obama has debunked the myth that illegal immigrants are going to get free health care. So Joe Wilson is uncivil, immature, disrespectful and a liar. From Obama's Aug. 22 weekly address:
Let’s start with the false claim that illegal immigrants will get health insurance under reform. That’s not true. Illegal immigrants would not be covered. That idea has never even been on the table. Some are also saying that coverage for abortions would be mandated under reform. Also false. When it comes to the current ban on using tax dollars for abortions, nothing will change under reform. And as every credible person who has looked into it has said, there are no so-called "death panels" – an offensive notion to me and to the American people. These are phony claims meant to divide us.But republicans make stuff up. It's what they do when there is no evidence to support their claims:
And we’ve all heard the charge that reform will somehow bring about a government takeover of health care. I know that sounds scary to many folks. It sounds scary to me, too. But here’s the thing: it’s not true. I no sooner want government to get between you and your doctor than I want insurance companies to make arbitrary decisions about what medical care is best for you, as they do today. As I’ve said from the beginning, under the reform we seek, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period.
During the summer recess, members of Congress faced persistent questions from constituents worried that health care changes could leave taxpayers footing medical bills for illegal immigrants. President Obama has not been able to extinguish the doubts despite giving repeated assurances that illegal immigrants would be excluded from any subsidized benefits under proposals before Congress.Obama also debunked the lie on conservative's Michael Smerconish's radio show. Update: Politifact's Truth O Meter says Wilson's accusation is false.
Democratic lawmakers, growing exasperated, have taken to reading directly from the House and the Senate bills at town-hall-style meetings.
“I don’t know how it could be more clear,” said Representative Bruce Braley, Democrat of Iowa, who has read aloud from a section of the House bill with the title “No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens.” NYT
We've been monitoring claims about health care reform and illegal immigrants for some time now. Most notably, a chain e-mail claimed that page 50 of the House bill gave free health care to illegal immigrants. That page didn't say that. Rather, it included a generic nondiscrimination clause that said insurers may not discriminate with regard to "personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services." So we rated the chain e-mail's claim Pants on Fire .Wingnuts are saying that enforcement has been excluded from the bill, even Katie Couric added to the mess, saying that children of illegal immigrants might be covered (that would be a good thing in my eyes). But anything can be argued these days because there is no such thing as truth. Very few people seek the truth. Wingnuts make up stuff to fit their views. They're not going to like anything that Obama does, so they'll find ways to argue against it. That's just the way it is.
We read all 1,000-plus pages of the health care bill and were struck by the fact that it is largely silent on health care for illegal immigrants. Keep in mind that experts estimated there were 6.8 million uninsured illegal immigrants in the United States in 2007, out of a total of 11.9 million illegal immigrants. Right now, there are laws on the books that require hospitals to treat severely ill people who arrive at the hospital, regardless of immigration status, and we didn't see anything that would change those laws, either.
Most illegal immigrants are also now excluded from Medicaid, the government-run health care for the poor. We didn't see anything that would change that. Read more