Sunday, August 23, 2009

Health care reform and illegals

Liberal bloggers like Yglesias , Klein and Noon are upset that the public holds what they claim are false beliefs about health care reform. For example Klein:

The poll tested a variety of assertions that were simply wrong -- Was health-care reform likely to include illegal immigrants? ...

Since I believe that health care reform is likely to include illegal immigrants I naturally don't agree that the assertion is simply wrong.

It is clear that this is something liberals would like to include if they thought they could get away with it. Yglesias states as much. So any language purporting to exclude illegals will probably be written by people who don't actually want to exclude illegals. Making it reasonable to doubt how effective it will prove to be.

Additionally even if the language excluding illegals was written by people who actually sincerely wanted to exclude illegals there is a substantial chance it would be overturned by the courts. In the case Phyler v. Doe the US Supreme Court ruled that the state of Texas could not refuse to educate illegal immigrants. It is easy to imagine a similar ruling with respect to health care for illegals.

Finally this assertion is not the sort of unambiguous factual statement that can be fairly characterized as simply right or simply wrong. There is too much room for debate.


  1. I agree with you on all counts. Anyone who can explain to me (so that I can understand it) the logic behind politicians encouraging illegal immigration by means of extending (i.e. fighting for more) educational, medical and wellfare services to the illegals. Why would anyone want to do that (as opposed to developing a controllable legal immigration)?

    By the way, James, it's "u n d o c u m e n t e d" would you please refrain from using the "i" word in the future? thank you for your cooperation.

  2. Yes, undocumented, aliens...I can envision a case where some undocumented aliens arrives on US soil with an air borne pathogen that is new and fatal. Let's say hemorraghic fever, H1N1, a more deadly mutation of our standard swine flu, or some other disease from Asia. Let's say they come from Mexico but originate in Asia. Some Asian undocumenteds (say that three times fast) do come through Mexico. Now you have a public health crisis getting bigger by the day. Is this not be a problem if we sit down and say we aren't treating that individual because he is undocumented?