NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE
March 5, 2014 12:00 AM
Obamacare for Illegals
It’s “accidental” (of course), but how many will slip in?
By Michelle Malkin
You knew it was coming. I knew it was coming. When government expands entitlements, illegal aliens always end up with a piece of the pie. Obamacare promoters relented to GOP pressure to include an illegal-alien ban on eligibility and vowed endlessly that no benefits would go to the “undocumented.” But denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. It’s the Obama way.
In Oregon this week, officials confessed that nearly 4,000 illegal immigrants had been “accidentally” steered from the state’s low-income Medicaid program and instead were enrolled in Obamacare in violation of the law. Oopsie. The Oregonian newspaper’s Nick Budnick reported that the health bureaucrats “discovered the problem several weeks ago and are correcting it.” Get in line. The beleaguered Cover Oregon health insurance exchange has been riddled with ongoing problems, errors, and glitches since last October that have yet to be fixed.
Take note: This wasn’t a one-time computer meltdown. Because Oregon’s health insurance exchange website has been offline and its software architects under investigation for possible fraud, the Oregon Obamacare drones have been processing each and every application manually. That means nearly 4,000 illegal-alien applications with “inaccurate” data somehow passed through government hands and somehow ended up getting routed through as new enrollees with Obamacare-approved full-service health care.
How many Obamacare services did these nearly 4,000 illegal aliens avail themselves of, and at what cost?
Does anyone believe the same incompetent boobs who enrolled them will be able to track down the nearly 4,000 illegal-alien beneficiaries, “correct” the “errors,” and ensure that it doesn’t happen again?
What a slap in the face to the millions of law-abiding Americans who have lost their health-care coverage and work hours thanks to Democratic-sponsored federal health-care regulatory burdens and mandate costs.
One Oregon Obamacare manager defended the unlawful illegal-alien enrollment by explaining: “We were just getting people into the services.” And there’s the rub. The imperative of these government social engineers is to herd as many “clients” into taxpayer-subsidized programs as possible. Just last week, Obama’s Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson publicized an open letter to families with illegal-alien relatives promising that no one would be deported for seeking Obamacare services.
“No one in America who is eligible should be afraid to apply for health coverage because they have a family with mixed status,” Johnson assured. And in another sign of how the White House is still planning for mass illegal-alien amnesty, Johnson also made clear: “Enrolling in health coverage . . . will not prevent your loved ones who are undocumented from getting a green card in the future or who do not yet have a green card at risk.”
As always, California Democrats are at the forefront of busting open Obamacare for the illegal-alien population. Earlier this month, Democratic state senator Ricardo Lara introduced a bill to extend health benefits and a special online marketplace to 1 million illegals under an Obamacare-style program subsidized by state taxpayer dollars.
In case you forgot, President Obama had already paved the path for illegal-alien Obamacare when he signed the massive expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) in 2009. As I’ve reported previously, the law loosened eligibility requirements for legal immigrants and their children by watering down document and evidentiary standards — making it easy for individuals to use fake Social Security cards to apply for benefits with little to no chance of getting caught. In addition, Obama’s S-CHIP expansion revoked Medicaid-application time limits that were part of the 1996 welfare-reform law.
Open-borders activists saw those provisions as first steps toward universal health coverage for illegals. They see America as the medical welcome mat to the world. Over the past year, they’ve ratcheted up public protests demanding free organ transplants for illegal-alien patients. In Chicago last fall, they marched on a hospital with caskets and posters demanding scarce organs. One illegal alien blasted authorities for putting “paper over our lives.” In California, illegal-alien transplant patients count on federal incompetence and lax enforcement to abet them, because if they notify the state that DHS “is aware of their presence and does not plan to deport them,” they are eligible for full-blown Medi-Cal coverage, according to the state.
Now, Obamacare peddlers from Oregon to New York and all points in between are rushing to sign up new “customers” in advance of the March 31 open-enrollment deadline. How many more thousands of illegal aliens will be roped into the system? Remember: In the lexicon of the Left, “accidental” is just another word for inevitable entitlement creep.