By Bill Maher
It’s become quite the Republican talking point that all the Democrats want “free health care” for illegal immigrants. This is based on one of those dumbed down “show-of-hands” questions at the second debate, when Savannah Guthrie said, “This is a show-of-hands question and hold them up for a moment so people can see. Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.”
That’s not “free health care.” Free health care for illegal immigrants is largely what we have now. About half of undocumented immigrants don’t have coverage, as opposed to only about 10 percent of citizens. They’re less likely to have jobs where they get employer-based insurance and they’re blocked from getting coverage on the Obamacare exchanges, so when they get sick they go to hospitals or community health clinics, which are both heavily subsidized by taxpayers.
So this is what Republicans want – to make it impossible for immigrants to buy into any public health care systems by paying premiums, so taxpayers and anyone who pays for private insurance has to pick up the tab instead. In effect, they’re not asking for illegals to get free health care, they’re demanding it.