November 5th, 2009
02:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Immigration a stumbling block for health care bill

Washington (CNN) - Disagreement among Democrats over immigration language in the health care bill is complicating efforts by House Democratic leaders to round up votes needed to pass a bill by this weekend.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are pushing back against the addition of a provision to the bill that would bar illegal immigrants from buying health insurance using their own funds. This measure is already included in the Senate Finance Committee's version of the bill and is backed by the White House.

The House Democrats' bill already includes requirements for immigrants to verify their citizenship before getting federal subsidies to buy health insurance.  But some conservative Democrats have indicated they support the Senate language.

Rep Charles Gonzalez, a leading Member of Hispanic Caucus, said he and other Latino members will make their case to President Obama in a meeting at the White House this afternoon.  "We are going to ask him to revisit the manner in which they are approaching it and what's going on in the Senate."

"I understand the politics of it, but it is it very bad policy and I'd love for once the policy to trump the politics,"  Gonzalez told reporters.

Gonzalez said he and other members of Congresswant to keep the current version of the House bill - but if it's changed to add this stronger language, they could try to block it.  "Members of the Hispanic Caucus alone, we believe we have enough members that would be willing to express their disapproval through a vote that could be the difference," said Gonzalez.

Filed under: Health care • Immigration
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Mr. President please do not make the stronger language in the bill this is not right.

    November 5, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. LacrosseDad

    o.k. you liberal loons, JOE WILSON was and is right...OBAMA LIES.

    November 5, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. aproudmemberofthepatrioticmob

    NO Illegal Immigrants!!! Only Citizens!!

    November 5, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Marie in California

    What don't illegal immigrants not understand about the word "illegal?"

    First they break into our country and, because of unenforced and toothless immigration laws, they set up housekeeping and then want to dine at our table via education, medical care, etc. etc. paid for by American citizens.

    Sometimes the illegals remind me of cow birds and cuckoos, both of which are birds that lay their eggs in the nests of other birds in order to have them raise their young for them.

    November 5, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Pee Wee

    Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are pushing back against the addition of a provision to the bill that would bar illegal immigrants...

    Standing up for their constituents I see.

    How long before the Fed does what they've done in California and increase withholding by 10%? And then, they'll keep it.

    California is the model for liberalism, now that we've nationalized it, watch out.

    November 5, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. gt

    thats so bogus ,,, why are americans having to pay for these people who are here illegal... these polictians are insane,,,,

    November 5, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. No Hillary = No Obama

    I don't want my hard earned money taxed to provide all sorts of benefits for people who broke the law and take advantage of everything they can get their hands on once they sneak into this country. I am fed with their attitude of entitlements and their self-centered "me,me,me" "it's all about me" state of being while hard working Americans lose their jobs and homes.

    November 5, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Brad of IL.

    If Illegals are included in this bill the Democrats will lose big time in the next election. Let the Doctors and Hospitals send there Bills to the Mexican Government . If they are treated and found to be jn thjs country Illegally then send them home and send the Bills to the Home Government from which they came here from. Or just send them home with-out treatment other than too stabilize for there travel home.

    November 5, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Rowdy

    Let them sign up, then as Mr.Favor used to say:
    "head 'em up
    move 'em out
    move 'em on
    head 'em out"

    November 5, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. cph9680

    I'm donating my entire life sacings to Joe Wilson, because once again Obumbles is just a pandering liar!

    November 5, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    Good golly . . . this place is out of control.

    The only "Change We Can Believe In" will be the conservative shift in 2010.

    November 5, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. DCSilb

    We have to take care of our citizen's first. If someone comes in without proper ID, I'm not saying we should turn them away, but the case should be turned over to the ICE.

    November 5, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Dan, TX

    For heaven's sake just put in the no illegals and anti-abortion language. Let's get this done. If people can't afford abortions they can just do it themselves. Also, if people are here illegally, I'm very sorry, but they are here illegally and should leave. Would we let people from Afghanistan, North Korea, or Iran sneak into the country and then let them buy health insurance? No, they should be rounded up and deported. No health insurance for North Korean, Iranian and Afghanistan spies and terrorists.

    November 5, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Uh, I don't get it...

    Why would the idiot Dems want to prevent anyone from buying their own health insurance with their own money? Unless they're trying to guarantee that at least one group of people will always be dependant on them and therefore always vote Democratic?

    November 5, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Danny

    This is why Democrats can't get this legislation passed. There are so many competing groups that want this or that included that no one is going to like the final bill. they need to drop the most contraversial parts and get this passed now.

    November 5, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Bill from Jersey

    illegal immigrants are just that – illegal. Health car reform should not address the issue – other than to preclude it. Members of the Hispanic Caucus should concern themselves with the health care issues of the legal Hispanic immigrant. Should they do so, they would find a much more supportive non-Hispanic voter.

    November 5, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. DawnL,CA

    Absolutely no healthcare insurance or benefits for illegal immigrants! If the President revisits this measure, a lot of Americans will revisit our vote next time. This is a "line in the sand" & our congressman or women will receive e-mails noting our displeasure & the loss of our vote for them.

    November 5, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. Matthew

    Instead of one big overhaul (that based on Medicare and Medicaid WON'T WORK), healthcare and insurance reform should be done in small DOABLE steps.

    Start with electronic medical records (hospitals, not the government, should pay for this... it's been available for 10-15 years), TORT reform, allow insurance companies to compete across state lines, list procedure prices at hospitals, so people can shop around,

    Allow individuals to be responsible for their own actions/health. Keep Pelosi, Obama and others out of healthcare.

    November 5, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Typical Democrats. Illegals aren't supposed to be here at all, so why should they be allowed to buy health care? They should be depoerted, as fast as possible.

    November 5, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Proud Member..Party of No

    "Senate Democrats have blocked a GOP attempt to require next year's census forms to ask people whether they are a U.S. citizen."

    Wake up people....take our country back. Vote out everyone who doesn't want to shut down illegal immigration.

    November 5, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. ghostwriter

    here's the problem with this. This ruls is kinda backwards, but I can understand where it's coming from. Why should illegal aliens have insurance, driver's licenses, etc? You would think that these people being this visible would be easy to spot and arrest.

    November 5, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Joyce

    The Hispanic caucus needs to remember: they represent Americans, legal American citizens, not foreigners!

    November 5, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Operation Replacement

    The Hispanic Caucus is not a constitutional office. It hasn't even
    a single Republican member in it! It thinks it can get its way by
    blackmailing the Speaker and bullying her into doing what it wants
    by threatening to withhold votes on healthcare. It should be declared
    un-American and disbanded.

    November 5, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. shmeckel

    I am dumbfounded. How is this even possible? If you want to support illegals before you help Americans then you do not belong in this country let alone in this government.

    What part of “illegal” do they not understand? Don’t get me wrong I don’t like the public option and want to see them fight about it, but if illegal immigrants are not blocked from this legislation something is very wrong. This is a USA tax payer funded program not a help the world not for profit organization. These people need to find somewhere else to live.

    November 5, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Mark

    We give the illegals food stamps, HUD housing, welfare checks. What makes you think they won't be in on the public option also? Why do the dems block any attempt any attempt to keep the illegals from getting free health care? What part of illegal don't they understand?

    November 5, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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