- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 2, 2024

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration just released data showing taxpayers in the state had shelled out $566 million for health care for illegals so far this year.

And all the liberals go — yawn. It’s so easy to spend other people’s money and to dismiss the spending of other people’s money as, ‘oh, it’s only a tiny bit.’

That’s what liberals are saying about Florida’s finding. As usual, they ignore the point.

“Free Health Care for Illegal Immigrants Could Cost California Billions Per Year,” reported The Epoch Times in January.

It’s not just that one state is feeling a pinch from the costs of health care for illegals. It’s that many are — or will. It’s that the burdens on legal citizens and taxpayers to provide for illegals are growing.

Democrats do know this. They just pretend not to in order to keep their open border desires aflame. In part because of this tendency to hide, hide, hide the truths about the costs of illegals, Florida, under Republican leadership, passed a law requiring hospitals that accept Medicaid to collect and report data about the immigration status of those who utilize hospital emergency rooms so the state can figure — and publicize — what illegals are really costing taxpayers. 

“The $566 million cost estimate is likely to be an underestimate,” the Federation for American Immigration Reform wrote, Florida Daily reported. “This is because even though hospitals are required by law to inquire about immigration status, patients may refuse to answer, and many of those declining to answer are likely to be illegal aliens.”

With Joe Biden as president, and open borders as his policy, what’s happening in Florida, what’s predicted in California, is spreading quickly to all states. And more than the immediate financial burden to citizens, it’s the mainstreaming of the idea of giving health care to illegals that’s the bigger problem.

Once it becomes common for states to use tax dollars to provide for health care for illegals — or for hospitals to charge off bills for illegals only to affix higher costs on those with private insurance, or to raise costs on everybody — then it becomes expected that illegals should have the same level of health care as legal and taxpaying citizens; and from there, it becomes a political tool to win votes. It’s already moved in that direction.

“States Are Providing Affordable Health Coverage to People Barred From Certain Health Programs Due to Immigration Status,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote in February.

The story went on to report: “Unfortunately, many people who are immigrants remain uninsured, largely because of immigration-related restrictions to government health programs. … [So] states have responded to this challenge by creating affordable health coverage options for people whose immigration status bars them from enrolling in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace.  … Everyone should have access to affordable health coverage and the chance for well-being that it provides.”

How did we get from a place of telling illegals they don’t belong, and following that rhetoric with physical removal, to a place where American citizens are tasked with providing illegals healthcare because, by gosh, they deserve it?

In a word: Democrats. Democrats are the ones who’ve pushed for open borders for years, and for treating illegals as if they’re victims who need American dollars and American entitlements and American assistance — with loyalty to Democrats at the ballot boxes the only payment. Republicans have played their role in the open borders debate, as well, favoring cheap labor from points south so as to pad their business pockets and grow their corporate revenues. But it’s Democrats who’ve pushed, pushed, pushed. It’s Biden who’s been ushering in illegals at record levels under his administration, and ratcheting not just costs on legal citizens for health care for those who shouldn’t be here in the first place, but also normalizing the expectation that health care for illegals is proper. It’s not. It’s unAmerican. It goes against everything individualist this nation stands for and that makes this country great and free and prosperous. 

Republicans never should have given up the argument over Obamacare and allowed into the public mindset that health care was a human right; they failed to make the distinction between health care and taxpayer-funded health care and so allowed leftists to win a massive public relations and imaging battle. Once it was acknowledged that health care was a human right, then it was simply the next natural step to insist that tax dollars are rightly spent in upholding human rights — civil rights — God-given rights.

Obamacare is reaching its next level of socialism. 

America is seeing its next natural progression down the path to collectivism.

“States Expand Access to Affordable Private Coverage for Immigrant Populations,” The Commonwealth Fund wrote.

The piece went on to report how “millions of people still lack comprehensive health coverage” and that “immigrants are disproportionately likely to be uninsured.” Why? “This higher rate of uninsurance stems from systemic inequalities, including legal barriers to affordable coverage for noncitizens, especially undocumented immigrants,” the story continued.

Undocumented immigrants? They’re called illegals. Systemic inequalities? There’s no such thing when the comparison is between legal citizens and illegals. There are benefits for citizens — and then there are allowances for illegals. The gap between the two is not evidence of a “systemic inequality.” 

But it’s just such narratives that are showing the massive shift this nation has undergone in the days since Obamacare; in the time spent with leftist presidents like Barack Obama and Biden at the helm; in the months and months leading to years and years of open gates at the border. 

The financial burden is bad enough. But the shift in attitudes is the deeper damage.

Health care in America is now the responsibility of Peter for all of Paul’s families.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter and podcast by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Lockdown: The Socialist Plan To Take Away Your Freedom,” is available by clicking HERE  or clicking HERE or CLICKING HERE.

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