August 14th, 2009
05:22 PM ET

Will new health bill cover illegal immigrants?

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/12/art.healthcare.bill.jpg" caption="CNN answers your questions about the health care reform bill."]

CNN Truth Squad

The statement: Questions about whether those in the United States illegally would be covered by the health-care bill now before the House of Representatives have been a staple of the raucous public meetings some members of Congress have been hosting during their August break. At least two people raised the issue at a forum held by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, on Wednesday, and Cardin's insistence that "Illegal aliens will not be in this bill — period — the end" was met with a round of jeers.

The facts: The bill, HR 3200, specifically bars coverage for illegal immigrants. Section 246, which is included in the part of the bill that sets up a health insurance exchange, forbids payments "on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States." But critics say there is no way to enforce that provision, and the Democratic majority in the House has turned back at least one Republican effort to stiffen citizenship checks.

Henrie Treadwell, a professor of community health and preventative medicine at Atlanta's Morehouse School of Medicine, calls the issue a "red herring." The existing health-care programs Medicare and Medicaid already require those enrolled to provide "a substantial number of documents" to show they're U.S. citizens or legal residents, she said.

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Filed under: 360° Q & A • Health Care • Raw Politics
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. John

    Treat foreign visitors, then, if they are not here legally, send them back to their native countries. We cannot afford to continue to pay for the obscenely large population of illegal aliens who clog our hospitals, take our jobs, reduce our standards of performance (in the workplace and in schools), mire our schools with complex social issues, burden other social services, including police and rescue, and demean what it means to be an American by ignoring our laws. Enough.

    I like Dustin's comments about billing their native county.

    August 16, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  2. Ken

    I do not believe in putting money in front of human life. God created all men equal, and we all have the right to the best life possible. God allowed the United States to be the greatest nation on earth so we can help other people. God also set order, equality, and authority.
    We have ways for people to enter this country legally, and contribute in all areas of being an American Citizen. We as Americans are not being treated equally when are illegal friends have easier access to health care, plus no financial responsibility.
    I do not suggest to turn anyone away when help is needed. If they are of illegal status, give them medical help, then lock them up, no amnesty, no rights, and deport them.
    We do need health care reform, we also need reform in a lot of areas. Equality is not about money it is about people. So let everyone contribute to this great nation equally and legally. This will free up the money needed for a better health care system.

    August 16, 2009 at 12:26 am |
  3. Trevor

    We could get rid of our holier-than-thou attitude towards non-americans make legal immigration less of a bureaucratic mind****, and then illegal immigration wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem.

    August 15, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  4. mark brian

    I came to america from a so called third world country and I am taken a back as i watch the stupidity and circus like manner it takes to make a political apointment to an office, or to have vcivil debates about needy reforms, while Americans wine,pines and belly ache, the rest of the world is forging full steam ahead including Cuba,North Korea and China in providing freeand better health care and education for its people.Surprisingly enough, i travel back home to my country for my health care visits because its free free free and of course the doctors and facilities are just as good and absolutely NO one is denied medical attention, come on Americans dont b persuaded by people who are on the AIR claiming to b INDIPENDENT but have an aligned agenda while feeding americans with prime time filt.

    August 15, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  5. dan

    We can't incentivize people to imigrate to this country illigally. This is going to drive up the cost of health care exponentially as mexican families decide to flee to the US in search of the best medical care for urgent medical issues such as cancer or other acute illnesses. I know it seems unfair that these people do not get the same care as us but we cant afford to pay for medical care of another country

    August 15, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  6. Brittancus

    For decades Europe has been a beneficiary of excellent nationwide health care. It wasn't until the early 1960's that the English/British single payer system started to erode. This was caused be the introduction of legal immigration imported to drive London Buses and work on the railways. Deterioration has increased since the inception of the European Parliament dictates of the free flow of immigrants from impoverished nations of Northern Europe that has overrun the health care system. PERHAPS RATIONING NOW–BUT NOT BEFORE MASS IMMIGRATION? As of now Europe has been overwhelmed by illegal aliens, making entitlements even worse. When I lived in England their was no co-pays, deductions or premiums, just insurance stamps that the employer and employee paid. I received 3 surgeries with no further cost to me. There was no anguish about debt collectors calling or ending up in front of a bankruptcy judge.

    As a child and a young man I choose my doctor and received eye and dentistry visits free of charges. I NEVER HAD TO WAIT FOR A SURGERY, AS THE SPECIAL INTEREST LOBBY TRIES TO IMPLY? One should remember that there a large majority of nefarious special interest groups, who enjoy the status quo and will fight with propaganda and lies against their profiteering. Another place where I lived was Australia, where the health care system is equally as great as England. One year I was employed by Australian Main Roads as a junior surveyor and stepped into a fire ants nest, ending up in hospital. Once again my cost was–ZERO–because I paid into the system. There is something very calming, without the worry of billing statements pouring through the mailbox demanding money and threatening you with an attorney.

    August 15, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  7. DawnL,CA

    1st.- Treat their health problem. Then bill their country of origin.
    2nd. Call ICE. Take them into custody & DEPORT them, according to the LAW.
    3rd. Yes, this is tough. However it's tough on us taxpayers to continue to pay for their medical care, schooling, food stamps etc.
    4th. Just how hard is it for illegals to get false papers? Not hard at all.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  8. Joe A

    There has been so much talk about different clauses in this bill and the Dem’s come out saying that; “no, we don’t mean it that way – no we will not ration, no we will not make decision, no we will not tap your bank account”, but if there is so much ambiguity then this bill should NOT pass because it leave too much open to re-definition which could lead to total control of our freedom to choose. How could we believe that this super majority will not turn around and say; “well this clause allows us to tell you when to give up a fight against cancer.” Once we let the Government in, we will never get rid of them and they will do what they do best; micromanage a system to death until we are left with the worst of the worst – if so many people are arguing about the clauses, then it is too ambiguous. Mr. Obama tried to rush it through as he did the stimulus and we see the failure of that bill. Now that he was not able to bully congress into passing it, the lack of cohesion in the document is coming to light. It should not pass if so much of the document is unclear!

    August 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  9. Robert Greenhalgh

    Why does Anderson Cooper unwittingly parrot the misconception that "47 million Americans are uninsured"? The more correct concept is that 35 million American Citizens appear to be uninsured, and 12 million illegal immigrants are likewise.

    Since when should the concept of "illegal (law violating) immigrant " mutate to "undocumented immigrant", then to "American full fledged citizen" for purpose of Taxpayer-Supported benefits? That is the same sophistry that said "we have a border", but let's wink at enforcement.

    Anderson Cooper, if you believe in transparency, then you need to take note. No welfare state can financailly co-exist with porous borders, and non-defined citizenship. We will all go broke.

    August 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  10. KIm

    This is probabably a wackie concept but have they thought about an electric fence that runs under ground to secure the boarder ? Where is that technology ? No health care for illegal immigrants.

    August 15, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Why are we worried about illegal immigrants getting healthcare when our Government for years brings millions of illegal immigrants here for healthcare along with their families. Has anybody done any research on how many of those families remain here and "move to the front of the line for citizenship" with the help of our Government. People get your heads out of the sand and think for yourself.

    August 15, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  12. Angel

    Most illegal immagrants work hard to support thier families and fear the day in which they need medical attention. They are not out to screw the system or recieve free handouts, they are here because they yearn to survive.
    It's easy to simply say, 'if you can't pay they can't stay!' But what about all the service jobs that these people do that no one else is willing to do? What about the farming we Americans need but won't 'lower' ourselves to do. This issue is not just about medicine and money, it's about people, it's about us all taking responsibility in this human experience to be human and realize that nothing is perfect. There will not be a perfect solution, someone will end up paying.

    August 15, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  13. nonya

    Whether or not one is against the new healthcare program to cover illegal immigrants, my question is, when a sick person or injured person shows up at the door steps of a hospital....what person would or should turn him/her away ? Doctors took an oath and I doubt that it specifies a certain group to be help only...those same doctors, should they be forced by any healthcare program or insurance company to disregard the life of another human being ?
    I know that there are problems with illegal immigrants and my feelings are torn. On one hand I am angered, even outraged at what goes on in this country at the expense of american citizens but on the other hand, I personally could never, ever, ever, ever turn a human being away that needs medical help (if I were a doctor or nurse) or one that is hungry. I couldn't live with myself having something like that on my conscious. Also being a devout Christian, my thoughts are how does Jesus feel about people in need being turned away ? I KNOW without the shadow of a doubt that HE while HE walked the earth, would've never denied anyone help. We will all stand before HIM one day and will have to answer to HIM for our actions. All of us.

    August 15, 2009 at 3:14 am |
  14. J.V.Hodgson

    This " illegal immigrants" question is a separate issue to health care per se. They are illegals and knew ( or should) the risks involved i.e that you pay for health care in the US. The fact it's free in Mexico is irrelevant.
    The solution is to be progressively more strict with various laws in the USA.
    1) No green card or heath plan docs etc No hospital care.
    2) Stop the employment of illegal immigrants,by simple Id checks and documentation employers are required to show e.g Drivers license, Passport with valid entry stamp/unexpired visa, green card and require employers to keep those documents and a contract which shows Minimum wage is being paid. Economic disaster I think not, when we have 10 % Unemployment!!
    3) No temporary visitor Visa from Mexico other than for Holidays of max 4 weeks, and if longer stay requested prove the financial personal funds for your support at the US embassy visa office in Mexico. Cheaper than border guards and fences.
    4) In the nations with so called single payer systems everyone has a government Health Insurance card Employed or Not, make it clear ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS cannot have one.
    Harsh maybe, but the above are far better than any fence,, border patrol or whatever, and provide a real Economic disincentive to illegal emigration/immigration.
    5) Have a major police drive on deporting illegal immigrants especially in southern states and forget the sob stories, they broke the law, and they have no constitutional rights.
    The above wont happen, as politicians rely too much on Hispanic legal immigrants. Sad but true.
    Legalising current illegals does not help it makes the problem worse.

    August 15, 2009 at 2:14 am |
  15. Milkshakemikey

    In wake of the Canadians Health Program, as neighboring countries share the tourism with youth sports and international businesses ...it would be wise to have guidelines covering the emergencies stemming from these potential dangerous situations.

    August 15, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  16. Vickie Show Me State

    Did not the American's take this land from the Indian's? Our history books tell us that we did. They were here FIRST! They welcomed us! Or, did they? American's eventually forced them to live on Reservation's. So, who is greedy now!? And, we claim to be Christian's! No wonder God is angry! Even the very elect shall be deceived. We send our job's out to other countries because they'll work for pennies. Yet, we don't want to go in dept to support illegal immagrant's? Where is the love? We"ll let our own government and high money making business men steal us blind. But, God forbid, if, someone out of poverty get our help. ? Those high business men don't want to lower themselve's to our level. They can't live on the wage's we live on. Their prize possession's mean too much to them.

    August 15, 2009 at 1:27 am |
  17. JJ

    Fishy things scare me...lol

    August 15, 2009 at 12:20 am |
  18. RLWellman

    Yep, that's what we need. Free health care for anyone in the world and we the taxpayers are going to pay for it.
    You have to wait in line now to see the doctor, can you imagine how long the line would be if we open the doors to anybody?
    You think this sounds cruel? We don't even take care of our own citizens, let alone some other coutries citizens.
    Just where do you think this money is going to come from? I'm sure the Government would be willing to tax you more if you are that gung-ho on paying for them.

    August 15, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  19. CM Baker

    Medicare has examples of health care rationing and so do the private insurance plans. Medicare limits the amount of hours of physical therapy that a patient can submit for reimbursement. Other forms of medical help – such as speech therapy, occupational therapy have limits on reimbursement.

    Several years ago there were no restrictions on physical therapy hours that could be ordered by your physician and submitted for reimbursement. This rationing occurred under Republican rule. Today I saw a Republican speaking against the use of Medicare funds for motorized wheelchairs. Restrictions have already been placed on motorized wheelchairs and other medical equipment. For anyone to believe that rationing has not occurred in American insurance coverage, including both public and private, is a show of ignorance.

    In my case, I had a month's worthof physical therapy prescribed by my neurologist because of a fall and gait problems from Multiple Sclerosis. Doctors can only prescribe a specified amount for therapy and further prescription requires another appointment. Because of my disease, the therapy unit felt I should not use up all of my therapy reimbursement, in case I fell again breaking another leg perhaps, or injuring my spine. So instead I was offered a chance to pay a monthly fee so that I could come into the unit on my own and use the machines. It was not therapy, but they reasoned it was something.

    As I was already paying a monthly membership fee to the YMCA, I passed on the offer. But I never considered that the therapy that I did have as very useful to my problem. I have continued to fall and recently broke a bone in my foot. So what good did rationing do for me? It really acted as a guanantee that the limited therapy would not result in the desired outcome. The desired outcome in fact never reached the point where it was even defined. I felt that I had just been given a classic example of the time wasting and money wasting misuse of th e potential medical help held out but never achieved.

    Private insurance is no better. A bill for medical service in January 2008 went unpaid until last week. That was a twenty month wait during which I could not use that doctor because of the outstanding balance. The insurance company agreed it was their mistake. Three times I was assured that it had been taken care of. The insurance company agreed it was their fault. They agreed to pay the claim. They just didn't follow through. Eventually I found a person who understood I would not permit the issue to go away. Although the doctor's office had to agree to an unfair writeoff, eventually the claim was cleared from my account. For twenty months I could not use this doctor because of the concern I had for an unpaid claim of that amount. Whatever might have come from the treatment in 2008 disappeared because of the payment delay. Waste is waste, regardless of the cause.

    I was blessed when I finally was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis with two high quality insurance plans that had excellent coverage. They were expensive but I always felt I had no choice. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic progressive uncurable disease. I know I will always need a lot of medical care. I am convinced that private insurance will never been any better than a well run public plan. I see no difference at all in them, except the premium cost of private insurance is much higher than Medicare, and Medicare sets fees a bit lower than private insurers do. I have no problem finding Medicare doctors. I do have problems finding doctors that are in the network of my secondary private insurer.

    Care under Medicaid has been rationed and delayed in my experience with disabled children. There have been more than one examples in my teaching career where medical care for the disabled or destitute was either denied or significantly delayed. Usually this happened because the money set aside to pay for care for the indigent had exceeded the cap and some time had to pass before the funds were renewed. To me this was always an example of the pevailing ideology in government. Some want to cap the cost; some feel like more compassion is needed. Hard to say.

    In the end, which of the three main coverage plans represents the best value? I don't know. I guess it depends on one's view of the purpose of human life.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  20. Maurney

    Hey when Obama's illegal aunt has been living in Boston public housing for years, l'm thinking he'll try to allow illegals.. But it burns my butt when he (the millionaire president) preaches that we should be responsible for one another. I keep writing the White House to pay back MA taxpayers for his aunt's keep. But I don't see the check coming to MA

    August 14, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  21. Jean McKeever

    If I illegally go to another country, I would not be covered my their medical plans. So why would we cover people who are in our country illegally?

    August 14, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  22. Dustin McWain

    I am not a socialist but i believe private companys should have to compete with government cause we all know that with government we get what we need,with the private sector gets what we need and what we like ,I want to point out fedex and UPS they are doing great right now and U.S.mail not so good so i think with a public option all it would do is cover everyone and if you want better and can afford it you can pay alittle extra and get it it will lower premiums locked in by the insurance companys and a system that will cut cost by using computerized records like th V.A. system that costs 2/3 what the medicare system Does.V.A.????? you say isn't that goverment health ,but is has a 96% approval rating among 4,00 plus hospitals ran by the system......People All that i ask is that you cut through the nonsense,How many of you have health coverage? and if you don't I bet your credit might have a blemish on it from a 2000 dollar X-ray ? who do you think sets those prices and when you can't pay guess ,the taxpayers 18 % of gross domestic product goes to to healthcare 6% and growing in unpaid bills. we Can't afford to stay this way we have to change it and now All agree it needs to be changed, all i ask is that you make your voice heard and do so some research.Get involved ,call your congressman or tje whitehoud the have numbers look them up and call them.do something be heard!!!!!

    August 14, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  23. Susan

    It is unrealistic to expect hospitals to verify everybody's immigration status. There are institutuions in this country that were created specifically for that purpose and they can't get it done.
    Hospitals would have to request and share information of every single patient, if they are going to have to work as immigration officials then why not work as DEA and verify that the drugs found on a patient's bloodwork were prescribed, or make a DNA database, etc. The sky is the limit!

    August 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  24. Howard2

    Great, so one version prohibits payments for illegl aliens, but it is unenforceable. Just the type of double-speak we can expect from our Congressmen. I am sure it will come off the teleprompter whichever way sounds best for Obama's parrticular audience that night.

    August 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  25. KR MACK


    why should the illegals get health care, they now get free college, I did not, am I now an official minority? How do they make the world a better place if they dont even play by the rules, it only proves you are not a us citizen !!!!

    August 14, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  26. KR MACK

    Is everybody that slow? f course it covers the illgrals if you took them out of the so called 45-47M uninsured the actual figure is 12M and from them you have to subtract people who choose a sports car rather than health inusrance or dont care because they know the law and know by law everyone has to be treated. When illeagls cross the desert in Arizona and there is no watering station and die from thirst, you know this country is screwed up because a judge allows the family to sue and pay from another country. Obama has no original thoughts other than power and image just like Clinton but the damage they do stays much longer than their terms. This has been the dirtiest nastiest time in poltical history and the Democrats can be proud that they have managed to stoop lower than even the Terriosts.

    August 14, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  27. Susan

    Is illegal immigration really an issue here? Based on the comments I've read so far, the main reason why people are opposing the new health bill is because it would allow illegal immigrants to have access to health care, and that would cost us more money than the current system. If the comments posted here are based on facts and not just assumptions, it sounds like the current system is already allowing all illegal immigrants to receive free medical care. If we are already paying for all of them, why is this an issue?
    It is stupid for people to expect a Health Care bill to deal with a problem such as Illegal Immigration.

    August 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  28. Linda B., Ga.

    Alot of the illegals are covered NOW, in our current system, so what's the diff? We are already paying for them out of our tax dollars.....duh.....

    August 14, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  29. Michelle

    I hope it doesn't cover illegal immigrants. Once our national situation improves, then of course, extend the humanitarian hand then.

    August 14, 2009 at 9:25 pm |
  30. ritamweep

    It can bar them all they want. It won't matter. Show me where it says any one in healthcare is required to ask if they are illegal. No one will even ask, they don't care, now, if they're illegal. We will always give people emergency care. We are just that way. What people want is to have them go home healthy and come back legally. You pull yourselves up by the bootstraps, find work, and make a life. National healthcare is welfare. Welfare is for temporary assistance.It is not meant to be a generational lifestyle, as the government wants it to be. The government wants you to depend on them, so you will vote the way they want. The government should give welfare back to the churches. Those in need can give back to a church community in many, many ways that do not involve money. Welfare is for those truly in need. The rest of us can work!

    August 14, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  31. betty little

    It just happens that if an american single mother who is trying to go ahead in this country by having a job won't qualify for medical assistance because she just happens to make enough money to qualify as a recipient. Yet, an illegal immigrant can qualify for all sorts of social services? How fair is this for Americans who are uninsured?

    August 14, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  32. vanessa

    If we legalize then we wouldn't have a need to worry about illegal immigrants.

    August 14, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  33. Dustin

    we might as well cover them in a voucher program from their home country and bill that country so maybe it would recover some of our money

    August 14, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  34. Wayne

    I say we can kill 2 birds with 1 stone:
    1. Make it cover anyone who comes to the hospital in need of medical attention, which includes all tourists from other countries and illegal immigrants. This will help US better our international reputation.
    2. Hospitals will work together with CBP and ICE so that anyone who has an expired visa, or is an illegal immigrant is given the opportunity to either legally renew their visa (if justified), or deported immediately after the medical treatment. This will help with our illegal immigration problem.

    August 14, 2009 at 8:20 pm |
  35. Mark Richard (Athol, MA)

    Annie hits the issue right on the head, if we still end up having to pay for their health care when they visit the emergency room why not include them, somehow, into the bill. Maybe attach legislation having those who show up as illegal immigrants, taking advantage of free healthcare, access or enrollment into citizanship programs to help them become legal citizans with a time frame for completion? This might kill two birds wih one stone!

    August 14, 2009 at 8:02 pm |
  36. Arionne

    I totally agree... but I feel horrible about it...

    August 14, 2009 at 7:57 pm |
  37. GF, Los Angeles

    We're too broke to Henry that's why not. If you have vast amounts of money, feel free to do that but I don't as a taxpayer. Over $300 billion spent on social services for illegals since 1996. How about having that money be spent on actual citizens who need it?

    August 14, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  38. andrew serry

    why does it matter if illegal alien get health care what is this world coming to when money is more important than people's health or lives. it is not economically even sound because if illegal alien get sick and run to the emergency room the tax payer have to pick up the bill and may even be more expensive. we should put human lives first and money second

    August 14, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  39. Adam

    thanks anderson for a no-spin post.........if you want to raise your ratings, then just do more posts that defend our republic.

    August 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  40. vanessa

    Immigration reform. It about time we do something on that issue.

    August 14, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  41. S Graham

    My mom works in health care and she said the hospital she works in does not turn away indigent people – whether they are illegals or not. In fact, she told me in many cases care given to indigents is more adequate care than people who have insurance. Without people carrying identification cards issued by the government. I believe there is no way to insure that illegal immigrants don't receive care. And even then, there are ways around that. In an ideal situation, everyone would have access to health care. However, we are starting with a system that is so dramatically flawed that adding "healthcare for everyone" will actually do more harm than good.

    Our President, whom I voted for, promised to go through budgets and programs "line-by-line," keeping what works and eliminating what doesn't work. I am very discouraged that he has not kept that promise.

    I believe that the issue is affordable healthcare which it could be if the government "minded the store" with regards to Medicaid, Medicare, and similar programs which are government controlled. So why don't we start by fixing those? And if this bill is SO urgent, why does it not go into effect until 2013 (conveniently after the 2012 election). I'm a Democrat but that doesn't mean that I blindly support the efforts of the Democrats especially if I don't agree. I'm all for helping people but I'm not for enabling people to be complacent by giving them something they don't work for. I believe that working people should be able to afford to get their own healthcare if it's not provided. I thought the President wanted to make that possible by reforming government programs.

    I also read that the White House wants the names of people who say fishy things about the government. I saw it on the White House website.

    "There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov."

    Does this scare anyone other than me?

    August 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  42. Claudia

    What do critics mean there is no way to enforce the provision about illegal immigrants not getting coverage? how about asking for an ID, SSN, resident alien card or something...com'on so people who are uninsured are just gonna get access to insurance w/o showing any documentation???...*blinks confused*

    August 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  43. Juanita

    With all of resources being used to help the illeagles in our nation nowwe could re-coop thoses funds to not only stop paying for the illeagles but to follow up to deport them... U didnt pay for you dont get it,,,,PERIOD!!

    August 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  44. Mark from Saint Louis

    BS. you know that the doctors and nurses aren't allowed to ask for proof of citizenship prior to treatment. You know that this would not be enforced.

    August 14, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  45. betty little

    I don't believe Obama is against the american people paying for illegal immigrants health care. I work in the medical field and i know that when an illegal immigrant shows up at the emergency room, the hospital assigns him or her a social worker who works with the local medical assistance program to obtain an emergency medical assistance card. The hospital then gets reimburse.. We all pay for these visits and also pay for all the illegal women who give birth in our country. They don't have a social security#, yet medical assistance covers for their stay in the hospital. If Obama is concerned with the high cost of healthcare, why doesn't he reform the corruption and abuse of the medical assistance program. The answer is simple, he doesn't have the guts to mess up with the democrats welfare program.

    August 14, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  46. sandy

    Better yet, how do you control infectois diseases if you refuse to cover someone who has them based on immigration status? Does seem a self-defeating way to improve.US health overall.

    August 14, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  47. Zkwc

    Annie – your question doesn't make sense in this discussion since we're discussing health care and you're discussing illegal immigrant issues. Hospitals are there for everyone if they get sick. Maybe they don't understand the concept of a hospital bill since their care in their country is free.

    August 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  48. Ron San Bruno, Ca

    I think you control these costs like the cash for clunkers program. Checks and balances . Each vehicle has a certain vin # and odometer reading , if everything is correct you qualify .

    August 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  49. Henry

    The new health bill must cover illegal imigrants.why neglect them when we can help them to make the world a better place.

    August 14, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  50. Annie Kate

    If this bill does not cover illegal immigrants (and I agree with that) then how do we control the health costs of those immigrants when they will still come to the emergency room. One of the purposes of the health care reform was to control costs but if you have an ever increasing number of illegal immigrants showing up in the emergency room and not paying for their care, this cost alone could dwarf what we are saving in other areas. How do they propose to control these costs??

    August 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
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