Republicans use health-care law in fight to derail immigration reform efforts
By David Nakamura and Sandhya Somashekhar, The Washington Post
Posted: 06/16/2013 01:59:13 PM PDT
WASHINGTON — After spending years unsuccessfully trying to overturn "Obamacare," Republicans are now attempting to use President Barack Obama's landmark health-care reform law to derail his top second-term initiative — a sweeping overhaul of the nation's immigration system.
Conservatives in both chambers of Congress are insisting on measures that would expand the denial of public health benefits to the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants beyond limits set in a comprehensive reform bill pending in the Senate.
In the House, Republicans are considering proposals that would deny publicly subsidized emergency care to undocumented immigrants and force them to purchase private health insurance plans, without access to federal subsidies, as a requirement for earning permanent legal residency.
In the Senate, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has endorsed an amendment to a comprehensive immigration bill he helped negotiate that would deny health benefits to immigrants for five years after they become legal residents — two years after they would be eligible to become citizens under the legislation.
Translated to plain English, Nakamura and Somashekhar are saying that we are supposed to give free medical care to illegal aliens, and it is somehow unfair to expect them to pay for their own health insurance policies while they are being granted a path to citizenship.
Jennifer Ng'andu, the director of health policy for the National Council of La Raza, said the true motive for some Republicans is unrelated to immigration reform. Rather, she said, it is to perpetuate "ideological warfare" against the Obamacare law.The term La Raza means The Race. There is something strange about requiring American citizens to pay the Obamacare tax, and then giving illegal aliens an exemption.