I'm at the annual convention of the Speech Communication Association of South Dakota. Tomorrow I join a panel to talk about judging interp (whoo-hoo!), but this morning I'd like to give a shout-out to all my debate judging friends by applying some policy debate terminology to this nonsense about illegal immigrants getting American health care.
Actually, it's not nonsense: illegal immigrants would get health care under the proposed health care reforms... just like they do now. Federal law currently bars hospitals from denying service based on immigration status or ability to pay. So even if you think it's wrong to treat patients who are in our country illegally, that position is no reason to vote against H.R. 3200 or any of the other ideas floated this year for health coverage reform. The disadvantage happens whether we pass H.R. 3200 or stick with the status quo.
In policy debate, we call that the non-unique disadvantage. And when you run a non-unique disadvantage, you lose the debate.
Now if you really are bugged by providing health care to illegal immigrants (many of whom are doing work that we gringos are too stuck-up to do ourselves), you need to propose some additional reform, overturning the federal ban on hospitals denying service and requiring that every patient, from the clinic to the emergency room, present proof of citizenship before receiving any assistance. Then when you bring your daughter to the ER with a broken arm and they throw you out because you forgot to bring her passport, or when you call 911 with chest pains and the operator refuses to send an ambulance because you can't punch in the proper citizenship code, you can be thankful that America is putting Americans first and not letting any undeserving foreigners enjoy our wealth.
Passports at the emergency-room door: another great idea from those who complain about bureaucrats standing between you and your doctor.
Update 13:05 CDT. Oh yeah, and guess who signed into law the current federal regulation making illegal immigrants eligible for emergency care? Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1986. (Good catch, Bob!)
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