Thursday, September 10, 2009


Rep. Joe Wilson Republican of South Carolina yelled you, "You lie," when Pres. Barack Obama said that the new health care reform bill would not cover "illegal immigrants."

Ann Gerhart and Philip Rucker write for today's The Washington Post on Wilson:

""We need to be discussing issues specifically to help the American people, and that would not include illegal aliens," Wilson said. "People who have come to our country and violated laws, we should not be providing full health-care services."

"Despite many claims to the contrary by opponents of the universal health care proposals, fact-checkers have repeatedly established that the bills' universal coverage provisions would not extend to illegal immigrants. In Section 246 on page 143, the House's bill states that "undocumented aliens" will not be eligible for credits to help them buy health insurance -- and these credits are the provision that lies at the heart of expanding coverage to the uninsured. And Medicaid already is limited to those who can prove legal residency. For that matter, even the universal health care program in Massachusetts -- one of the most liberal states in the country -- does not cover illegal immigrants."

But why shouldn't it cover them? How can anybody deny health care to anyone else on the basis that the sick person lacks proper papers? Or that the sick person committed a misdemeanor by crossing the border without papers? Or that the sick person is a child of those who lack papers?

Yes, the health care reform bill should extend full benefits to immigrants, whether they are "legal" or not, whether they have proper documents or not.

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