During President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Congressman Joe Wilson (R. SC), shouted “LIAR!” when President Obama stated that the proposed health care plan would not cover “illegal aliens.” Now, Joe Wilson said he should know this because he once was an immigration lawyer. Whether that meant immigration from or to South Carolina, I am not sure, but one thing is for sure, no one I know ever knew Joe Wilson the immigration lawyer. If by “immigration lawyer” Mr. Wilson meant that he once helped an immigrant get deported, I am not sure that really counts. But if “Joe the Immigration Lawyer” is like “Joe the Plumber,” then maybe he thinks he really was one.
After all, an immigration lawyer would likely be able to understand what exactly the law means when it says that only citizens and permanent residents are covered under the Obama plan. What has caused Joe Wilson to react like this, besides a serious lack of self control, is the provision in the proposed legislation that eliminates the requirement of using the “SAVE” system to verify whether someone who is an immigrant, is legally in the United States. Use of this program has stopped very few undocumented immigrants from getting public benefits, but has stopped literally thousands of U.S. citizens, mostly poor, from obtaining benefits because of their lack of accessible proof of their citizenship.
Factcheck.org has presented a short article on Seven Falsehoods About Health Care. One of those applies directly to this point:
False: Illegal Immigrants Will Be Covered. One Republican congressman issued
a press release claiming that “5,600,000 Illegal Aliens May Be Covered Under Obamacare,” and we’ve been peppered with queries about similar claims. They’re not true. In fact, the House bill (the only bill to be formally introduced in its entirety) specifically says that no federal money would be spent on giving illegal immigrants health coverage:
H.R. 3200: Sec 246 — NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS. Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
Also, under current law, those in the country illegally don’t qualify for federal health programs. Of interest: About half of illegal immigrants have health insurance now, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center, which says those who lack insurance do so principally because their employers don’t offer it.“Misleading GOP Health Care Claims” July 23 – by Brooks Jackson, Viveca Novak, Lori Robertson and Jess Henig.