Jack Kelly wrote a mean little column today, where his main point is that Joe Wilson was right when he yelled “You lie” at Obama during his health care speech to Congress. Forget whether it was rude or unprecedented, it was apparently justified. Although one of the bills working its way through the House does have explicit language saying that illegal aliens are not supposed to benefit from government sponsored health insurance, another part of this bill says that administrators signing people up for health insurance are not supposed to be Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents; they are not supposed to ask for citizenship documents.
I don’t know, I realize Kelly is some sort of former marine, and feels that people who work for the government should be enforcing its laws. But if I apply for a job to sign people up for health insurance, I don’t expect to be arresting people and detaining them so they can be deported. And what kind of society do we want to live in?
Meanwhile, it is not exactly like people will get much just by signing up with government provided health care. It is supposed to be cheaper than private insurance, but it is also supposed to pay for itself. This is not where the tax dollars are supposed to go. There are supposed to be subsidies for low income people, and maybe that is where some attention should be paid.
As for whether your employer could drop your coverage when the government expands healthcare (which Joe Wilson neglected to yell about, guess Republicans don’t care about millions of working Americans), that could happen at any time, for any reason. And sometimes that’s a good thing, if, for example your employer finds a more cost effective plan. Now I think the President or someone said that at lest some of the bills prevent the public option being offered to people who have health insurance already. But I don’t know how that will work out in practice. And actually, it could be a good thing if employers shed them selves of the burden of providing health insurance, if there is a fair alternative available, and if the employees get a ten thousand dollar raise (after all, Europe is coming, Europe is coming).
Meanwhile, I don’t think illegal aliens lead all that nice a life. Many without health insurance doing jobs like working on roofs and ladders, or working all night cleaning offices. They can be mistreated almost at will, because calling the labor department would get them fired, and possibly deported. We need to address the issue of undocumented workers in an adult way. But meanwhile worrying about them in a healthcare bill is simply a distraction, one that the Republicans are shoving down our throat.