The public face of Hillary Clinton's new health care plan is sunny, filled with choices for consumers and bright with promises for better health care for all. But a close examination of the proposal alongside other initiatives of Sen. Clinton in the past few years reveals a dark side she wants to hide from public view until after the election is over.
In her program, she speaks of how health care is the right of every "American" — but she has a rather expansive definition of "American." In 2005, Hillary co-sponsored legislation in the United States Senate to offer free health insurance, under the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to the children of illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States for five years. So, those who have dodged the immigration cops for five years successfully would be rewarded not only with legal status and a path to citizenship, but with immediate free health care for their children.
Indeed, when Democrats and liberals speak of the 50,000,000 uninsured Americans, more than one fifth of those are illegal immigrants. Thus, about one in five of the beneficiaries of her program for universal health insurance are illegal aliens. (Illegal immigrants are a disproportionately large segment of the uninsured population because legal immigrants and citizens who live in poverty are eligible for Medicaid, but illegal immigrants are not.)
Would Americans like to reward those whose only connection to our country is that they flouted our laws to come here with free health insurance for themselves and their children? Doubtless Hillary knows the answer is no, so she is determined to hide that aspect of her plan from the public.
Hillary speaks of the importance of stopping health insurance companies from raising premiums on those who are sick. But she does not mention the inevitable flip side of her proposal — to raise premiums on those who are well. On the one hand, she would cover all those with chronic conditions with low cost health insurance and, on the other, would stop insurance companies from "cherry picking" healthy and young people for their insurance plans. The net effect would be a major increase in health insurance premiums for the vast majority of Americans.
In effect, her plan would turn "insurance" into "subsidy." The concept of insurance is that one pays a relatively low premium to guard against catastrophic expenses that are outside of our ability to meet financially. But Hillary's program would really be nothing more than a cash transfer from the healthy to the sick, not an insurance program at all.