Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The "You Lie!" pamphlet

By request, here is the text of the "You Lie!" pamphlet I tried to place at the Elgin Public Library.  (I was denied.):


Background on the controversy surrounding a statement made by Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) during President Obama’s address to Congress on September 9, 2009

Here’s what Obama said on September 9, 2009:
“Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics…Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points…And out of this blizzard of charges and countercharges, confusion has reigned.
“Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed.…
“Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians…
“There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”
Then Rep. Joe Wilson calls out: “You lie!”
Obama responds: “Not true,” then continues on with his speech.
But there is more to this story…

The basis for Obama’s claim comes from HB 3200 (the House version of Obamacare):

"Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States."

So, when efforts have been made to put some teeth into that statement, they have been rejected in committee along party lines.

An example of such a verification of lawful presence is the Dean Heller (R-NV) Amendment, offered on July 16, 2009 and rejected by the House Ways and Means Committee:

In order to utilize the public health insurance option, an individual must have had his or her eligibility determined and approved under the Income and Eligibility Verification System (IEVS) and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) programs under
section 1137 of the Social Security Act.
(Note: The SAVE system is already used by 71 other means-tested federal programs to prevent illegal immigrants and other ineligible non-citizens from accessing them.)

On July 31, 2009 Nathan Deal (R-GA) proposed eligibility verification to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and it was similarly rejected. It said:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no unauthorized aliens shall be eligible for any item or service furnished under this title. The Secretary shall not provide funding under 1903 for medical assistance provided to an individual unless such individual has been determined to be eligible for medical assistance under this title on the basis of…citizenship or…qualified alien status through the immigration status verification system."
The Congressional Research Service, a federal office, reported to Congress and the White House on August 25, 2009 that:
"H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens participating in the Exchange—whether the noncitizens are legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently."

"H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange."
As they say, “The hit dog howls.” Within 36 hours the Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate held press conferences to announce that they were working on language to close the loopholes for benefits to illegal aliens. So much for “bogus claims” and “scare tactics” Obama warned us about.

Historical precedenceSo what if the undocumented receive health care? It’s no big deal.
Well, actually it is a big deal. In 1986 Congress was trying to reform health care. One initiative called EMTALA was passed to give emergency room care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
That one act has created a litany of unintended consequences that has resulted in the closing of several inner-city hospitals due to excessive charity care.
Lawsuits and court rulings have transformed emergency rooms into clinics for every ailment and have stuck hospitals with long-term care of patients that cannot be transferred.

And hospitals in border cities report Mexican citizens in labor driving across the border to take advantage of higher quality (and free) medical care with the added benefit that the baby is automatically a U S Citizen.
At present Congress reimburses hospitals for $250 million to care for illegal aliens through EMTALA. Unfortunately, the public price tag for their care is $4.3 billion a year.
We are wise to examine the proposed legislation and be wary of loopholes and unfunded mandates so as to avoid another, more massive, EMTALA fiasco.

Amendments have been offered that would incorporate existing eligibility standards in the Obamacare bill. Those amendments have been rejected.

Further, the research arm of Congress has told the President that illegal aliens can indeed obtain subsidized benefits under Obamacare.

When Obama addressed Congress he specifically called out those who talk about the illegal alien loophole as making “bogus claims” and using “scare tactics.”

Based on the facts, Rep. Joe Wilson was right to call Obama’s statement a lie.

Failure to address these loopholes will result in long-term negative effects of tax money being used to aid and abet illegal aliens, not to mention the incentive for additional third world immigrants to come to America and take advantage of our medical care.

In addition, the creation of another unfunded mandate is unfair to community hospitals who cannot refuse to provide long-term care to anyone presented at the door of the ER.