The president directly addressed a number of pervasive rumors about his proposals.
The allegation that health care legislation would set up “death panels,” Mr. Obama said, is “just an extraordinary lie.” He also rebutted false claims that health coverage would be provided for undocumented immigrants, that there would be government funding for abortions and that there would be a “government takeover” of health care.
These fabrications, Mr. Obama said, are distracting the country from its “core ethical and moral obligation… that we look out for one another.”
What about the concern that health coverage would be provided for illegal immigrants?
It turns out that the non partisan Congressional Research Service has pointed out that HR3200, the House version of ObamaCare does nothing to prevent it:
“Under H.R. 3200, a ‘Health Insurance Exchange’ would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option…H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange.”
Freddy Freddoso notes:
The bill contains no verification requirement or enforcement process for citizenship or legal residency, as exists for other federal benefit programs. The only verification required for the subsidies pertains to family income. Beyond that, as the CRS report notes, everything is left in the hands of the Health Choices Commissioner.
House Democrats defeated all attempts in committee to add an enforcement mechanism that would require proof of citizenship or legal residency for those getting subsidies.
CRS also notes that “undocumented aliens” who have a “substantial presence” in the US would be required to buy health insurance (page 4) through the exchanges in HR3200. They would also become eligible for “emergency Medicaid,” although not normal Medicaid (page 6) for up to five years.
What about Section 246, which I said would prevent the spending of money on illegal aliens? The CRS analysis is less than impressed with that portion of the bill. Section “246 would bar unauthorized aliens from receiving any premium or cost-sharing credit,” it says, but that may be hard to enforce. It also states later that “absent of a provision in the bill specifying the verification procedure, that the Commissioner would be responsible for determining a mechanism to verify the eligibility of noncitizens for the credits” — or in other words, HR3200 fails to provide it entirely. I gave it a little too much credit, apparently, more than Congress’ own analysts do.
So, there you go. Yet another myth busting, myth busted.