Of course, we all know about Bart Stupak and his “gang” who are going to switch and vote “no” on Obamacare this time, but do you know about Nancy Pelosi’s other headache that could derail the bill?
If you recall from President Obama’s September healthcare speech to a joint session of Congress (and, really, who could forget?), Rep. Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” when the President said that Obamacare wouldn’t cover illegal aliens. As a consequence, the President had the Senate version quietly remove the ability of illegals to buy health insurance from government-supported, health “exchanges” — even with their own money. Since the whole idea of these “exchanges” is that they will eventually crowd out private health insurers, illegal aliens could eventually be effectively barred from purchasing health insurance of any kind.
Additionally, the Senate bill would bar legal, permanent residents from buying insurance from the exchange for the first five years. Needless to say, the House Hispanic Caucus isn’t happy, not happy at all. Of course, all this was initially for show to defuse the Joe Wilson controversy, and it was all going to be added back into the bill in conference committee. Of course, in the Scott Brown era, there is no conference committee.
Democrats are anxiously awaiting the CBO report, which should come out tomorrow. If the CBO “scores” the exclusion of illegals and/or the permanent resident clauses with a budget number, then they can be addressed with reconciliation. This is widely considered unlikely. It’s also unclear if the Senate would go along with this, and it’s also unclear if changing that part of the bill would cost Pelosi more votes in the House from somewhat moderate Dems who don’t want to be attacked for supporting illegal immigration.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez says he’s prepared to vote “no” on the Senate bill as a result, and the entire Hispanic Caucus is threatening to vote “no” if they don’t get what they want. As if that weren’t enough, “immigrants’ rights groups” have planned a massive demonstration in DC on March 21 — which just so happens to be the day that Obamacare is likely to come up for a vote in the House.
So, if Obamacare can’t be “fixed,” what’s the other alternative for Pelosi and the President to prevent the Hispanic caucus from voting “no”? Why, it’s to promise to take up “comprehensive immigration reform” next, natch. That way, we won’t have any illegals, see? All those bright-and-shiny-new U.S. citizens will then be able to get Obamacare.
If you think that the President is unpopular now, just wait until the Democrats push for a new wave of illegal immigration to the U.S., which is the effective result of legalization. With unemployment already sky-high, what would happen if a huge wave of immigrants were to come to the U.S. looking for work?