Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boehner Backs Obama, Carson Numbers; Dems Still Too Cute on Illegal Immigrants

Remember when conservative community activist and "gotcha" provocateur, Gary Mann, cornered Andre Carson and argued that fifteen million of the alleged 46 million uninsured are illegal immigrants? If that that were true, why does Republican House floor leader John Boehner's website say there are 43 million uninsured Americans?

The truth is that Mann confused his fifteens. According to the census, 46 million Americans are uninsured. But only 85 percent of those are native or natural-born citizens. In other words, not 15 million but 15% of that 46 million would not be eligible for health insurance coverage under a plan that didn't cover illegal immigrants. That gives you 39.1 uninsured citizens. However, newer numbers show about 9 million of the uninsured are illegal aliens.

Needless to say, the higher the number of uninsured of any stripe, the easier it is to sell reform. But by using the higher figure, the President has permitted conservatives to insinuate that he is "lying" about who gets covered under his bill.

I'm not sure they have to insinuate too hard on President Obama's endgame. In his interview with CBS, President Obama was pretty clear that his goal IS to offer coverage for the children of illegal immigrants now and to turn all illegal immigrants into legal immigrants as part of some type of comprehensive reform. But before anyone pulls out a "Joe Wilson was right!" bumper sticker, though, you're still wrong.

Saying you want to discuss an idea, such as covering children, doesn't mean it's in any version of a current bill. In fact, both the House and Senate versions of the Obama plan expressly say illegal immigrants won't be covered.

So why the fighting?

Republicans want express penalties for violating the express law. Now here's where Obama can get himself into trouble. Unless you know you don't intend to make the illegal immigrant prohibition real, why wouldn't you agree to whatever Republicans request?

Sorry, but if the President wants reform, he'll give the Republicans whatever it takes to ensure them illegal immigrants won't get covered and everybody who tries to do so, including his own administration, will be punished. If he doesn't do this, he just hands over a sure path for derailing reform that many American citizens need.

Coming next....John Boehner's website also lets you know Republicans aren't serious about pre-existing conditions.


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