April 28, 2023
By Dale Wilcox
More than a decade after the Obama Administration promised that the Affordable Care Act would not cover illegal aliens, Joe Biden has declared that he is expanding the program to do exactly that.
Biden announced earlier this month that he plans to expand Medicare and Obamacare to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, making roughly 700,000 illegal aliens eligible for government-funded healthcare benefits. The move is a major departure from promises made nearly 15 years ago by former President Barack Obama that his signature program would not apply to illegal aliens.
“There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants,” Obama told Congress in 2009. “This too is false. The reforms I am proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”
Obama’s comments were immediately met with a thunderous rebuke from South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson, who shouted “you lie!” at the then-president. The breach of decorum led to outrage in the media, and Wilson ultimately apologized. Yet, almost a decade and a half later, Wilson’s outburst has been vindicated.
Obamacare now does apply to illegal aliens, whether that was the original intent of the legislation or not. At the time, anti-borders sentiment had not gained the foothold in American politics that it has today, and the Affordable Care Act would have never passed Congress if it had been understood to include coverage for illegal aliens. Obama knew that he had to reassure Congress that illegal aliens would not receive government-funded benefits in order for his program to pass. Now, Obama is celebrating the expansion of his most enduring legacy to include illegal aliens, saying that “Everybody deserves access to health care.”
This bait-and-switch is a trademark of anti-borders politics, and has been years in the making. For example, when asked during a 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate about whether or not their healthcare plans would cover illegal aliens, every candidate including Biden raised their hand to indicate that it would.
Biden is keeping that promise, pledging to spend billions on healthcare for DACA recipients. However, the cost of Biden’s latest illegal alien giveaway can’t just be summed up in dollars and cents. Far more costly than the money it will cost to provide these benefits to illegal aliens is the further erosion of American sovereignty and citizenship that it represents.
Rewarding illegal aliens with government-funded healthcare benefits is yet another example of how the Biden White House is working to erase the distinction between lawful versus unlawful presence in the country. The social safety net is supposed to be a backstop to prevent struggling Americans from falling into poverty. Now, it is being abused by Biden to give handouts to foreign nationals who entered the country illegally. There is no doubt that part of the administration’s motive for this new policy is giving benefits to a constituency they believe will one day become voters in U.S. elections. Biden wants to legalize DACA recipients and other illegal aliens, and hopes that by rewarding them with government largesse, they will become a dependable Democratic constituency.
On this front, it’s a safe bet that the administration will ultimately expand Obamacare and Medicaid benefits to other illegal aliens, the same way Obama expanded his executive amnesty to include the parents of DACA recipients. At the end of the day, this is all about politics and creating new voters who will be loyal to the Biden Administration and the political party they represent. Working Americans will continue to pay the biggest price as they are forced to compete with illegal aliens for jobs, government benefits, and other opportunities.
It is a core belief of Team Biden that foreign nationals here illegally are entitled to the same benefits as those lawfully present. If this twisted worldview is allowed to continue to become embedded in our laws, then American citizenship will become virtually meaningless, and our national decline will only accelerate.
Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at Breitbart, April 28, 2023.
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