From Outside the Beltway:
The president was deliberately poisoning the well, claiming that his opponents are dishonorable and ill-intentioned. And, as AllahPundit and Mark Tapscott point out, the bill will of course cover illegal aliens. Even the Congressional Research Service says so.
“Under H.R. 3200, a ‘Health Insurance Exchange’ would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option…H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange.”
CRS also notes that the bill has no provision for requiring those seeking coverage or services to provided proof of citizenship.
Indeed, as an Obama official interviewed on NPR this morning admits, the administration has moved the ball in the other direction, removing existing restrictions requiring people to provide proof of citizenship to get various federal benefits on the grounds that they were too onerous and causing those legitimately eligible to give up or be denied. That may well be the right thing to do (I don’t know the specifics well enough to render definitive judgment) but it nonetheless vitiates the claim that there’s some magic wall to prevent the twelve million-odd illegal aliens from gaining access.
Beyond that, simple logic tells you that illegal aliens will be covered under any system of universal coverage. Aside from the plain meaning of the word universal, we have laws in this country requiring unquestioned treatment at emergency rooms for anyone who shows up. The Supreme Court ruled more than a quarter century ago in Pyler v. Doe that the Equal Protection Clause requires that children of known illegal aliens be given free elementary and secondary education in public schools. It’s hard to justify a rationale that requires paying to educate children while denying them health care.