Washington – Lawmakers in Congress may disagree on many aspects of health care reform legislation, but they agree on one thing: illegal immigrants don’t deserve health care legislation, because they don’t deserve health.
“You’re in this country illegally, here usurping resources that are meant for tax-paying American citizens,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio. “To my mind, that means that you don’t deserve good health. You deserve to be sickened, all the time. Chronically under-the-weather, if you will.”
Democrats in Congress appear to agree. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Health is reserved for Americans who are here legally, who follow the rules that come with being a citizen of the United States. If you’re here illegally, you should not feel good while you’re here.”
Earlier this year, Republican lawmaker Joe Wilson caused an uproar when he accused President Barack Obama of lying about the fact that the health care reform plan favored by the White House would not cover illegal immigrants. The debate has only intensified since then, and lawmakers have felt intense pressure from their constituencies. As a result, they have upped the ante, and declared that illegal immigrants not only will not be able to receive government-provided health care coverage when they are sick or in need of the doctor, but that they will always be sick and always in need of a doctor.
President Obama himself has said such a conclusion “seems only fair.”
“Look, I want everyone to be covered, because I want everyone to live a healthy, productive life, as I’ve said all along,” Mr. Obama said in remarks at the White House. “But when I say ‘everyone,’ I mean everyone here legally. Those here illegally, frankly, I don’t really care if they live a healthy life or they experience acute pain for ten hours a day. It makes no difference to me.”
American taxpayers already foot the bill when illegal immigrants visit emergency rooms or take advantage of Emergency Medicaid. But lawmakers say that’s beside the point.
“The question isn’t, ‘Hey, aren’t we already paying for this anyway?'” said Boehner. “The question is, do these people deserve to have days, weeks of their lives where they are not ill or incapacitated? And the answer is no.”