Romneycare Gives Subsidized Health Care to Illegal Aliens

Party Rooster

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I imagine Romney's going to have his own "Y'all are heartless" type moment when he gets grilled about this at the next debate.

Medical help for illegal immigrants could haunt Mitt Romney

On the Republican campaign trail, he derides any such public aid. But the healthcare law he signed as Massachusetts governor allows it.

By Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau
October 23, 2011, 6:17 p.m.

Reporting from Washington— The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance.

Uninsured, poor immigrants can walk into a health clinic or hospital in the state and get publicly subsidized care at virtually no cost to them, regardless of their immigration status.

The program, widely supported in Massachusetts, drew little attention when Romney signed the trailblazing healthcare law. But now it could prove problematic for the Republican presidential hopeful, who has been attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for supporting educational aid for children of undocumented immigrants in Texas.

"We have to turn off the magnet of extraordinary government benefits," Romney said at the recent Fox News-Google debate in Florida.

Perry has defended the Texas program, saying it is better to educate young people, even if they are in the country illegally, to help them become productive members of society.

Similarly, supporters of the Massachusetts program note there are ultimately higher costs for denying care to sick patients regardless of their immigration status.

The Massachusetts program, which cost more than $400 million last year, paid for 1.1 million hospital and clinic visits. It's unclear how many undocumented patients benefited because the state does not record that data.

The Romney campaign referred questions to Tim Murphy, who served as Romney's state health and human services secretary. Murphy said the governor never intended the Health Safety Net to serve undocumented immigrants.

"Our view when we signed the law was that all benefits would be for people in the commonwealth who were here legally," Murphy said, noting that the regulations implementing the program were written after Romney left office in 2007.

But Massachusetts officials involved in crafting the healthcare law said there was broad understanding when Romney signed it that at least some people who would benefit would be in the country illegally.

That's supported by language in the law. Although it explicitly bars undocumented immigrants from getting certain health benefits, it does not prohibit them from receiving aid through the Health Safety Net.

For example, the law mandates that only noncitizens "permanently residing in the United States under color of law" may receive government subsidies to buy health insurance.

The law also spells out that undocumented immigrants aren't eligible for the state's Medicaid insurance program for the poor, known as MassHealth.

But the Health Safety Net, in contrast, is off-limits only to people who "moved into the commonwealth for the sole purpose of securing health insurance" or who are eligible for another insurance plan.

"There is no question that lots of different kinds of people, including undocumented immigrants, obtain medically necessary services as result of this program," said John McDonough, a former consumer advocate who worked extensively on the healthcare effort in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts created the Health Safety Net, which built on a previous program, because state leaders worried that some residents would remain uninsured even though the state's law guarantees coverage to nearly everyone.

Those still without insurance — including some of the state's estimated 160,000 undocumented immigrants — were expected to seek care at hospital emergency rooms and community health clinics.

Hospitals are prohibited by law from turning away patients in need of care, regardless of immigration status. And many clinics do not check whether their patients are in the country legally.

The state-federal Medicaid program allows hospitals nationwide to be reimbursed for some of this care.

But some states and communities go further, offering additional aid to undocumented immigrants and the hospitals and other providers that provide them with care.

Such a policy, some healthcare experts believe, can help control costs by making less expensive care available instead of forcing critically ill, uninsured patients to go to emergency rooms, where care is far more costly.

Massachusetts funds its Health Safety Net with some state money and by assessing fees on hospitals and insurers. The money is redistributed to providers who file claims for the patients who sign up for the program.

In the state, there have been few complaints.

"We will always have people without health insurance, despite the incredible progress we've made," said Sarah Iselin, a former state health official and current president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.

"The Health Safety Net is a vital program that ensures low-income residents without coverage still have some access to healthcare — and not just in expensive emergency rooms — and shares the costs across the entire healthcare system."

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-na-romney-healthcare-20111024,0,6849099.story
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#2
Maybe Romney was going to read the bill after it passed. I'm sure he'll get to it one of these days....
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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Dec 9, 2004
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#3
Mitt Romney Haunted By Past Of Trying To Help Uninsured Sick People

BELMONT, MA—Though Mitt Romney is considered to be a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the national spotlight has forced him to repeatedly confront a major skeleton in his political closet: that as governor of Massachusetts he once tried to help poor, uninsured sick people.

Romney, who signed the state's 2006 health care reform act, has said he "deeply regrets" giving people in poor physical and mental health the opportunity to seek medical attention, admitting that helping very sick people get better remains a dark cloud hovering over his political career, and his biggest obstacle to becoming president of the United States of America.

"Every day I am haunted by the fact that I gave impoverished Massachusetts citizens a chance to receive health care," Romney told reporters Wednesday, adding that he feels ashamed whenever he looks back at how he forged bipartisan support to help uninsured Americans afford medicine to cure their illnesses. "I'm only human, and I've made mistakes. None bigger, of course, than helping cancer patients receive chemotherapy treatments and making sure that those suffering from pediatric AIDS could obtain medications, but that's my cross to bear."

"My hope is that Republican voters will one day forgive me for making it easier for sick people—especially low-income sick people—to go to the hospital and see a doctor," Romney added. "It was wrong, and I'm sorry."

According to Romney, if he could do things over again, he would do everything he could to make certain that uninsured individuals got sicker and sicker until they died. Promising his days of trying to provide medical coverage to the gravely ill are behind him, Romney said that if elected president, he would never even think about increasing anyone's quality of life or trying to lower the infant mortality rate.

In addition, Romney repeatedly apologized for wanting to help people suffering from diabetes, Crohn's disease, and anemia.

"I don't know what got into me back then," Romney said. "Wanting to make sure people were able to have health insurance if they left their job. Providing a federally funded website so individuals could compare the costs of insurance providers. Making certain that somebody who earns less than 150 percent of the poverty level can receive the same health care coverage as me or any government official. All I can say is that I was young and immature, and I am not that person anymore."

"The only solace I can take is in the hope that some of the folks I helped were terminally ill patients who eventually withered away and died," Romney added.

Though Romney has apologized profusely, Beltway insiders said he would need to distance himself from his I-tried-to-help-sickpeople image. Sources noted that Romney's current promise to take away health care from anyone who can't afford it is a step in the right direction, but might not be enough.

"The major strike against Mitt Romney is that he not only tried to help people get medical care, he actually did help people get medical care," conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg said. "No other Republican in the field has that type of baggage. And in the end, in order to defeat President Obama, the GOP needs someone who has a track record of never wanting to help sick people."

Thus far, Romney is polling strongly in early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa, but Republican strategists and voters agree that even in a general election, his sordid past would continue to dog him.

"I don't think I can vote for someone like that," Pennsylvania Republican Eric Tolbert said. "He says he's sorry, but how do I know that's the real Mitt Romney? What happens if he gets elected and tries to help sick people again?"

"I like Michele Bachmann now," Tolbert added. "Because what this country needs is a president who doesn't give a fuck about helping people
Link
 

Begbie

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Jul 21, 2003
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#4
Ya know, this Romneycare is not all that bad an idea. He should try to push for it after he clobbers Obama in the 2012 election. I think alot of people on the right could buy into it. :icon_cool
 

Sinn Fein

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#5
I haven't come across anyone yet (of those I feel safe engaging in political discussion) who want Romney.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
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#7
Oh thats does it!!! I'm voting for barry!
Just stay home and don't vote at all. That's the whole point of the libtard attacks on the Republican candidates, to fan the flames of apathy. They criticize them for doing things that they would fellate a Democrat for doing.
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
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#8
I haven't come across anyone yet (of those I feel safe engaging in political discussion) who want Romney.
No one wants this guy to be president. He is the guy everyone will settle for because supposedly no one else can win against Obama.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
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#10
No one wants this guy to be president. He is the guy everyone will settle for because supposedly no one else can win against Obama.
Since I am an IT guy out in the field, I deal with alot of people at my various customer sites that I've known for years. Of those I know real well and have a grasp of their political leanings, I'll discuss the events of the day on a regular basis. In terms of the rest, as long as they aren't obviously a fucking communist - I'll try and feel them out. I've come across alot of people who voted for Obama last time and have buyers' remorse. Many of them are intrigued by some candidates, but aren't head-over-heels for anyone in particular. Of those who have picked someone, none of them have said that it's Romney.
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
May 21, 2005
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#11
the only Romney fans are in the media

they only want him to get the nomination because no conservative likes him which is the only chance Barry has to get reelected
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
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#12
Romney is an unlikeable, millionaire, slick, politician. I have never heard anyone cite anything that they actually like about him or his positions, yet all you hear is that he is inevitably going to be the Republican nominee. Even with Cain trouncing him in the polls, all the pundits brush it off and insist that Romney will surpass.
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#13
Romney is an unlikeable, millionaire, slick, politician. I have never heard anyone cite anything that they actually like about him or his positions, yet all you hear is that he is inevitably going to be the Republican nominee. Even with Cain trouncing him in the polls, all the pundits brush it off and insist that Romney will surpass.
Exactly. He just reminds me of one of those slick-talking scumbag politicians that will twist in the wind in order to get votes. Granted, that last part is most politicians...but he's just got this "Ken doll" complex that just bugs the shit out of me. Between him and Obama, I wouldn't waste one second marking Romney's name on my ballot...but still...it's either we pick Romney who will end up kicking the taxpayer in the balls or Obama who will continue beating the taxpayer over the head with a baseball bat.
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
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#14
Exactly. He just reminds me of one of those slick-talking scumbag politicians that will twist in the wind in order to get votes. Granted, that last part is most politicians...but he's just got this "Ken doll" complex that just bugs the shit out of me. Between him and Obama, I wouldn't waste one second marking Romney's name on my ballot...but still...it's either we pick Romney who will end up kicking the taxpayer in the balls or Obama who will continue beating the taxpayer over the head with a baseball bat.
OR vote for someone else in the primaries.
 
Jun 2, 2005
15,516
4
0
Dallas
#15
Just stay home and don't vote at all. That's the whole point of the libtard attacks on the Republican candidates, to fan the flames of apathy. They criticize them for doing things that they would fellate a Democrat for doing.
This is probably the best part about living where I do. It's red. It really couldn't make a difference in any way if I ever voted.
 

ZeoVGM

I am awesome. You are not.
Jun 11, 2004
1,622
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#16
Ya know, this Romneycare is not all that bad an idea. He should try to push for it after he clobbers Obama in the 2012 election. I think alot of people on the right could buy into it. :icon_cool
Hey, as long as you don't believe he actually has a chance in 2012, that sounds good to me!
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
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#17
Even with Cain trouncing him in the polls, all the pundits brush it off and insist that Romney will surpass.
Trouncing?



They look pretty close to even there. Funny, it seems Cain's getting his biggest "lead" in the poll from Public Policy Polling, a traditionally Democratic leaning group. Who would figger that one would be bigger? :icon_cool

And I'd guess Cain's probably slipped a little the last week with his gaffes on freeing terrorists at Gitmo, his confusion on abortion, going from 999 to 909, etc.

And it's conservatives attacking RINOs and vice-versa right now. And the BIASED LIBURRAL MEDIA is just reporting on it.