GOP: Growing a pair? To Cut Medicaid Costs, GOP Governors Target Illegal Immigrants

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Artful D0dger, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Republican governors have a new target in their quest to cut Medicaid costs: illegal immigrants.

    Republican Governors Association Policy Chairman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, at a news conference to talk about the RGA’s Medicaid reform ideas for the states Tuesday in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    In a report released Tuesday, the Republican Governors Association outlined 31 solutions that it says would bring down the cost. Medicaid is a top budget item for states, and governors from both parties have complained it’s busting their purse as more people lose jobs and qualify for the federal-state insurance program for the poor.

    The RGA has floated most of the ideas before, but one jumped out as new. Solution No. 5 would “require the federal government to take full responsibility for the uncompensated care costs of treating illegal aliens.” Keep in mind that federal law already prohibits illegal immigrants from enrolling in Medicaid.

    But RGA Policy Chairman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said illegal immigrants sneak onto the program in his and other states and add to its tab.

    “Let’s don’t kid ourselves,” Gov. Barbour told reporters during a briefing at RGA headquarters in Washington. “There are people who are getting on the system and violating the law.”

    Even if they’re not on Medicaid, illegal immigrants cannot be refused treatment at emergency rooms, and hospitals end up absorbing that cost when patients don’t pay those bills, said Bill Hazel, Virginia’s secretary of health and human resources. Neither he nor Mr. Barbour would say how much that actually costs their states, and Democratic governors haven’t cited it as a significant cost.

    The bigger point, Mr. Barbour said, is that the Obama administration has sued states to block them from enforcing their own laws to keep illegal immigrants out of the country. So if the federal government is going to insist on being solely responsible for securing the border, it should foot the bill when its immigration enforcement fails and leaves states with stacks of unpaid medical bills.
  2. pspr


    Oh no! That's one of Obama's main constituencies. :D
  3. rew


    It seems that all of Obama's relatives on his father's side in this country are illegal immigrants. So it's no surprise that Obama is the biggest backer of illegal immigration we've ever had in the White House. (After Dubya and Clinton that's saying a lot.)