Friday, September 11, 2009
I suppose it's no surprise to those of us in Arizona that the most talked-about moment in President Barack Obama's health-care address revolved around illegal immigration. Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst—yelling out "You lie!"—came after Obama said that "The reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."
Now there's a big debate on the right over whether Wilson should have apologized and whether Obama was telling the truth.
Factcheck.org, in a listing of Seven Falsehoods About Health Care, says Obama was not lying:
One Republican congressman issued a press release claiming that "5,600,000 Illegal Aliens May Be Covered Under Obamacare," and we’ve been peppered with queries about similar claims. They’re not true. In fact, the House bill (the only bill to be formally introduced in its entirety) specifically says that no federal money would be spent on giving illegal immigrants health coverage:
H.R. 3200: Sec 246 — NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS
Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
PoliFact rates the claim that illegal immigrants will get free health care as a "pants on fire" falsehood.
Matthew Yglesias has this to say to those who claim Obama is lying about insuring illegal immigrants:
...though the bills would prevent undocumented immigrants from receiving any taxpayer assistance in purchasing health insurance, the proposals on the table don’t do anything special to prevent an undocumented immigrant from buying health insurance with his own money. To characterize this as “insur[ing] illegal immigrants” strikes me as about on a par with claiming that Obama’s health care plans give ibuprofen to illegal immigrants. After all, nothing in the bill stops illegal immigrants from buying ibuprofen in a store! And the very same FDA regulations that assure citizens and legal residents and tourists of the safety of ibuprofen will also benefit illegal immigrants.