Virgil Goode

There could be instances where some family members would meet the definition of an eligible individual for purposes of the credit, while other family members would not… H.R. 3200 does not expressly address how such a situation would be treated. Therefore, it appears that the Health Choices Commissioner would be responsible for determining how the credits would be administered in the case of mixed-status families.

This means that if a family of illegal aliens sneaks into the country and then they have one child after they come in, the US Citizen “anchor baby” could make the entire family eligible for tax funded healthcare.   And I don’t need to tell you how Obama’s handpicked “Health Czar” would come down on the issue.

Another problem that makes the healthcare bill problematic is our policy of legal immigration.  Annually, America accepts approximately one million legal immigrants in addition to the flood of illegal aliens.  Most of these immigrants come through the process of chain migration, whereby legal immigrants and US Citizens sponsor family members.  The process spirals out of control where eventually everyone’s cousin is eligible, regardless of skills or what they contribute to this country.

Steve Camarota analyzed the effect of all immigrants, both legal and illegal, as well as their US Born children on health insurance.  Camarota found that this group comprises up to one third of all the uninsured in America.  Compared to the native born population, they are twice as likely to be uninsured, and twice as likely to be on Medicaid.

In an attempt to partially alleviate the burden chain migration places on social services, the 1996 Welfare Reform Act made some requirements that the sponsors of immigrants be financially responsible for the immigrants.  Indeed most welfare programs have some limitations on non-citizens.  But under HR 3200, new immigrants who are supposed to be supported by a sponsor can get tax funded healthcare. They can even sponsor more immigrants! 

Writing at the immigration website, former Hudson Institute economist Ed Rubenstein estimates that legal immigrants and their children will be responsible for 78% of all increased healthcare costs by 2050 totaling 1.2 trillion dollars. 

Unlike illegal aliens, anchor babies and legal immigrants did not break any laws.  We should not demonize them, but we should not ignore the huge fiscal burden they impose on our already stretched economy.

Fixing our broken healthcare system is not easy, but making some basic changes to our immigration policy is.  Securing our borders, enforcing our laws, ending birthright citizenship and chain migration, and reducing our levels of legal immigration; would do much more to lower healthcare costs than any government program. 

Before America embarks on healthcare reform, we should either fix these problems in our immigration system, or at least put adequate safeguards to prevent immigrants from receiving even more free benefits at the expense of the US taxpayer. 

Virgil Goode

Virgil Goode represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District from 1997 until 2009.