President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, dodged a question on whether he would push to provide American taxpayer-funded healthcare benefits to illegal aliens.
This week, during a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Becerra was asked by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) about his previous support for decriminalizing illegal immigration and providing illegal aliens with taxpayer-funded healthcare benefits.
Becerra, though, dodged the question by saying he would follow the parameters of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which he said allows “very rare” cases of illegal aliens to receive benefits.
The exchange went as follows:
DAINES: You’re on record for pushing for allowing illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded healthcare and for decriminalizing illegal entry into the United States. This coupled with President Biden’s radical plan for granting citizenship to those who are here illegally would potentially lead to hundreds of thousands, if not potentially millions, more people flooding into our country. [Emphasis added]
As you know, in 2016, California passed a law requiring covered Californians to apply for … waivers to allow illegal immigrants to purchase health insurance in the marketplace. This waiver was withdrawn after President Trump’s election. [Emphasis added]
My question is this: Will you attempt to use the waiver authority contained in the Affordable Care Act to grant healthcare benefits to illegal immigrants? [Emphasis added]
BECERRA: Senator, I can tell you that where the law, as it stands now as I see it, it does not allow those who are unauthorized in this country to receive taxpayer-paid benefits except in very rare circumstances and it will be my job to make sure that we are following and enforcing the law. And I can commit to you that that is what we will do. [Emphasis added]
In a letter to Biden, 11 Senate Republicans and 64 House Republicans asked the president to withdraw Becerra’s nomination to be HHS Secretary, citing his support for taxpayer-funded healthcare benefits for illegal aliens, among other issues.
“Mr. Becerra seeks to decriminalize illegal immigration, which would extend expensive government benefits like Medicaid to anyone who illegally crosses our borders,” the letter states.
A Politico report this week suggested Becerra is eyeing plans to provide illegal aliens with taxpayer-funded healthcare benefits should he lead HHS.
“He’s one of those individuals that had exceedingly deep convictions about the need to cover the undocumented individuals in all of our communities,” former Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) told Politico of Becerra.
Should Becerra become HHS Secretary, he could let illegal aliens onto Obamacare exchanges while pressuring states to pursue similar policies to those in California. Likewise, Becerra could open Obamacare exchanges to particular subgroups of illegal aliens, like those enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
As Breitbart News reported, forcing taxpayers to provide healthcare to all illegal aliens would cost citizens anywhere between $23 billion to $66 billion every single year — potentially a $660 billion bill for taxpayers every decade, without adjusting for inflation and the increasing number of illegal aliens.
Cost is only the first issue facing taxpayers. Medical experts have admitted providing healthcare to illegal aliens would ensure a never-ending flood of illegal aliens arriving at the southern border with “serious health problems” and local hospitals would have to cover the costs.
Already, taxpayers are forced to subsidize about $18.5 billion of yearly medical costs for illegal aliens living in the U.S., according to estimates by Chris Conover, formerly of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University.
When U.S. voters were polled by CNN on the issue in July 2019, nearly 6-in-10 said they were opposed to such a policy, including 63 percent of swing voters and 61 percent of self-described “moderates.”
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