Dave Gibson, Norfolk Examiner, August 3, 2009
About a week ago, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee defeated an amendment which would have excluded illegal aliens from Obama’s massive healthcare bill. In addition to replacing our private healthcare system with a government-run program, many have argued that this bill is in fact, a ‘backdoor’ amnesty.
The Democratically-controlled committee voted 23-18 to defeat the measure introduced by Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV), which would have required the use of the existing Income and Eligibility Verification System and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements System, before any care is given. This move would have ensured that only U.S. citizens would receive the taxpayer funded care.
While Obama has made claims that illegal aliens will not be covered by his plan, the following line can be found among the 1018 page bill: Sec. 59B, Pg. 170, Line 1–“Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes.”
Judicial Watch’s president Tom Fitton recently reported that Mexico directs their citizens who live in the U.S. illegally, to use taxpayer funded clinics in a dozen cities. The program is called Ventanillas de Salud (Health Windows), and is implemented in American cities which have Mexican consulates.
The government of Mexico has operated the program for some time. In 2007, Fitton wrote the following:
“Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Indiana are among the cities where Mexican consulates operate the health referral system which annually costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. In Los Angeles County alone, illegal immigrants cost taxpayers nearly $440 million in health services annually and a whopping $1.1 billion statewide.
The Mexican consul in Los Angeles proudly announced that nearly 300,000 Mexicans in the area have benefited from his government’s health referral program, which he says actually saves the county money by encouraging immigrants to seek preventive care rather than waiting for more expensive emergency treatment.
The Southern California operation promises to assess “consulate clients” for eligibility to government-funded health insurance and other primary care services and offers free legal assistance to those who are denied coverage. Its goal is to improve access to health services for immigrants of Mexican origin by formalizing a health education, medical home referral and insurance enrollment program.”