Blue States Encouraging Illegal Migration by Expanding Health Coverage
Anyone who doubts the radical nature of the modern left should consider words uttered by none other than Hillary Clinton nearly three decades ago. In 1993, testifying before Congress on her husband Bill Clinton’s health plan, the future presidential candidate expressed the following view on who should qualify for taxpayer-subsidized health benefits:
“We do not think the comprehensive health care benefits should be extended to those who are undocumented workers and illegal aliens. We do not want to do anything to encourage more illegal immigration into this country. We know now that too many people come in for medical care, as it is. We certainly don’t want them having the same benefits that American citizens are entitled to have.”
Secretary Clinton’s words stand in direct contrast to actions taken by multiple blue states, which are expanding access to taxpayer-funded health benefits for undocumented immigrants. As Clinton herself noted, these actions will only “encourage more illegal immigration into this country” — at a time when our southern border remains under siege.
Colorado and Washington State Actions
On Friday, federal officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Washington state’s application for an Obamacare waiver under Section 1332 of that law. The waiver will allow residents to apply for coverage on the state’s insurance exchange without regard to immigration status.
Under Obamacare, individuals must have their citizenship (but not their identity) verified to purchase coverage on state exchanges. CMS approved Washington’s application to waive this regulatory requirement, saying the state’s plan “will help Washington work towards its goals of improving health equity and reducing racial disparities by expanding access to coverage for the uninsured population.”
While individuals without legal documentation cannot qualify for federal insurance subsidies, Washington will instead provide them with state-funded subsidies to lower their premiums. The state has thus far allocated a $50 million subsidy pool for the coming year, along with $5 million for the 2024 calendar year. Households with incomes below 250 percent of the federal poverty level, or $69,375 for a family of four in 2022, will qualify for the subsidies.
The development in Washington state comes as Colorado also works to implement a law passed last year to provide subsidized coverage to the undocumented. About 5,700 people have signed up thus far for a program that will use $58 million in state funds to subsidize immigrants’ health coverage in 2023. (Because the program uses a mechanism other than the “official” Exchange to provide coverage, Colorado did not need CMS approval for this program, unlike the Washington state effort.)
Lawsuits Ahead in Oregon?
Simultaneous to the developments in Colorado and Washington state, another event on the “Left Coast” could prompt more taxpayer subsidies funding care for individuals not legally present. In last month’s midterm elections, Oregon voters narrowly passed Measure 111, amending the state’s constitution to guarantee a right to health care.
The Oregon measure guarantees health care to “every resident of Oregon,” regardless of citizenship or legal status, meaning it applies to the undocumented. And it also envisions “action[s] against the state to enforce the provisions of” the measure.
When combined, the two provisions all but guarantee that advocates for the undocumented, if not undocumented immigrants themselves, will sue the state of Oregon in state court to guarantee their “right” to health care — even though those individuals have no legal “right” to remain in the United States themselves. If this sounds absurd to you, you’re not alone. Welcome to leftists’ Brave New World.
The Border Is Not Secure
No one illustrates the left’s new radicalism more than Vice President Kamala Harris. Over three years ago, during her own failed run for president, Harris very publicly stated that she supported taxpayer-funded health care for those not legally present.
“Let me just be very clear about this. I am opposed to any policy that would deny in our country any human being from access to public safety, public education, or public health, period,” Harris said.
The very same Kamala Harris claimed in September that “we have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration.”
Fact check: FALSE. Apart from the obvious nonsense of claiming the border is secure when illegal migration remains at record highs, the CMS approval of Washington state’s waiver demonstrates that controlling the border is not a priority for this administration. If it were, the Biden administration would have rejected the application on those grounds, using comments by Hillary Clinton (that rabid right-wing conservative) as justification.
Beginning in a few weeks, the new House Republican majority can start investigating the ways in which this administration has kept the border dangerously insecure, and the ramifications of their deliberate neglect of American families nationwide. They can add the federal approval of Washington state’s waiver to their already-long oversight list.
This post was originally published at The Federalist.