Reality Check: Undocumented Immigrants Canâ€™t Buy Health Insurance ... Even If They Can Pay Full Cost
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In response to republicans' lies, inappropriate behavior (Joe Wilson R-SC called the President a liar) and anti-immigrant scare tactics to weaken support for health care reform, Obama has decided to cave in to Wilson and his supporters.
Despite the fact that the bill has clear language about excluding undocumented immigrants from a new health care plan, Senator Max Baucus (D- MT) announced yesterday that a White House proposal to bar undocumented immigrants from buying health coverage, even if they can pay full cost, will be included in the health care reform bill.
Senator Kent Conrad explained the move by saying:
It is a judgment about how you advance this package effectively and with any chance of actually passing it
But this "strategic" move only validates the lies and anti-immigrant scare tactics of conservatives, while defeating the purpose of effective health care reform.
The Obama administration is making a mistake by letting the politics of fear win the health care and immigration debate. The debate needs to be reframed. The reality is, as revealed by DMI's latest immigration analysis, that undocumented immigrants are part of our communities; pay taxes, and contribute to our economy. Fully integrating them into our society will benefit
and the economy.
Cristina is an Immigration Policy intern at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.