Sunday, September 6, 2009

Health Care Reform and the Undocumented

During the hectic town hall meetings in August, the issue of affording health care benefits to undocumented immigrants was often raised with some heat. Democrats took to quoting from the bills that the undocumented would not be eligible for the subsidies to pay for health insurance. They are already barred from Medicaid and Medicare. What led to the confusion is that the undocumented must be cared for in emergency rooms at government expense. This is a public safety measure. But the GOP, notwithstanding the provisions of the bills, saw an opening. The Democrats were not explicit enough in banning the undocumented. They should have demanded "citizen verification". That was excluded from the bills because expert testimony and state officials said it would be too costly for a problem that was not large. The GOP, smelling an popular issue, intends to raise it once Congress returns. (See New York Times article.)

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