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Friday, September 11, 2009

Illegal Immigrants Get Health Care: The Non-Unique Disadvantage

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!)


  1. Taunia Adams9/11/2009 6:58 AM

    I was an LD debater. You policy guys were in your own stratosphere. And your files took the likes of Hercules to carry!

    Is Mel Olson still debate coach in Mitchell?

  2. Tim (FireBird) is correct? Illegal immigrants will get healthcare under the proposed plan. So why all the fuss and argument in an earlier post trying to fight the fact that illegals, non-citizens, will be part of this healthcare reform? Hospitals deserve to be paid for the services they render and just because you reside here illegally, doesn't mean your entitled. Although, entitlement equates to votes and that's what's really driving this healthcare proposal. In politics, it's all about power and future votes.

  3. Well, Cory just admitted that Obama lied. Wilson was correct, though out of respect for the office (office, not person) of the Presidency he should probably not have shouted it at that precise time. And BTW, I saw clips yesterday when many Dems were booing Pres Bush during one of his addresses to Congress. Wonder if all of them apologized to Pres Bush??

  4. No no no no no. I did not just admit that the President lied. President Obama did not lie. President Obama said this:

    "Now, there are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."

    As I said yesterday, H.R. 3200 excludes illegal immigrants from any benefits provided by this reform. This bill does not provide immigrants with health care. My point here is that immigrants of any sort can walk into any hospital in America today. Illegal immigrants getting health care is not a product of this reform, a reason to vote against it, or a reason to call the President or me a liar.

    And think about it: if the President really wanted to trick you, he'd come up with a much better, subtler, escapable deception. Instead, this President says what he means and says the truth.


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