a group of House Democratsâ€¦say it`s unfair to bar illegal immigrants from paying their own way in a government-sponsored exchange. Legal immigrants, they say, regardless of how long they`ve been in the United States, should be able to get government-subsidized health care if they meet the other eligibility requirements.
Interestingly, this effort is being lead by Congressman Michael Honda (D-CA) Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, rather than by the Hispanics. One wonders why. Hispanic groups outside Congress are on board.
The National Council of La Raza launched its own "flood their voice mail" campaign last week to put pressure on [Senator] Baucus to expand coverage in his proposal to include all legal immigrants and to drop verification language in the legislation that would prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining coverage.
Of course, it is totally obvious that the Democrats plan Obamacare to cover illegals, if surreptitiously and piecemeal. That is why they have been voting down GOP efforts to put teeth in enforcement provisions. As Dinan notes:
Under the 1996 welfare law overhaul, Congress restricted most federal benefits to longtime holders of green cards - those who have been in the country at least five years.
But Democrats chipped away at that rule when they reauthorized the State Children`s Health Insurance Program earlier this year and allowed states to cover all immigrant children and pregnant women, regardless of how long they`ve been in the country.