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Obamacare-Funded Health Centers Won’t Ask Citizenship Status

Obamacare-Funded Health Centers Won’t Ask Citizenship Status

Is this a way to provide illegals with free health care?

Under Obama's health care law, the Department of Health and Human Services plans to hand out money to local health centers specifically targeted to serve communities where illegal immigrants are likely to be a considerable percentage of those receiving care.

CNS News reports that HHS plans to distribute $28.8 million to 67 health centers, with $8.5 million specifically designated for health centers focused on serving the migrant farm worker community.

As a matter of policy, citizenship status will be neither asked nor given at the centers. Judy Andrews, a spokeswoman for the Health Resources and Services Administration had this to say about the federal healthcare grants:

"The Program’s authorizing statute does not affirmatively address immigration status, rather, it simply states that health centers are required to provide primary health care to all residents of the health center's service area without regard for ability to pay.

Health centers do not, as a matter of routine practice, ask about or collect data on citizenship or other matters not related to the treatment needs of the patients seeking health services at the center."

This begs the question: what are we to think of President Obama's promise in 2009 that Obamacare would not provide care for undocumented workers? As the President then stated it, “The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."  If nobody asks, how can the President know if that's true?

As you recall, Obama's presidential proclamation was followed by an outburst from Representative Joe Wilson (R- South Carolina), who differed quite strongly -- and publicly said "You lie!" -- with Obama. Wilson was later forced to apologize for that outburst.

Now that we know Obamacare dollars are going to health centers specifically to give free care to migrant farm labor, and according to Pew 25 % of migrant farm labor is undocumented and Hispanic, are we ready to say that Rep. Wilson (decorum notwithstanding) may have won out on the facts?

It would seem logical that if Obamacare dollars are going to explicitly citizenship-blind centers at this stag of the game, when few of the massive Obamacare regulations have come into play, then the number of illegal immigrants covered by Obamacare will only expand with time. In federal government terms, $28 million is not a lot of money, but once the precedent is established, what is to stop hundreds of millions from going to similar centers over time?

Of course, one can't discuss Obamacare and Rep. Wilson without showing the clip of the Congressman shouting "you lie" in 2009, video courtesy of CNS News:

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