Joe Biden boasted to an audience of Delaware Democrats before he announced his third run for president that he has “the most progressive record of anybody running” for his party’s nomination. Officially a candidate, Biden is going to all lengths to prove his far left pedigree – even claiming that American taxpayers have an “obligation” to pay for illegal immigrants’ health care.
“I think that anyone who is in a situation where they’re in need of healthcare, regardless of whether they are documented or undocumented, we have an obligation to see that they are cared for,” the former vice president told reporters last week in Los Angeles.
Biden’s assertion that the nation bears from responsibility – moral or otherwise – to provide health care for individuals who are in the U.S. only as a consequence of their breaking the law might sell in bastions of leftist ideology like Los Angeles.
And it would be well-received by his fellow Democratic presidential candidates who believe illegal aliens should be covered under any government-run health care program, such as Medicare. In fact, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) went even farther in pledging entitlements for illegals.
“Let me be clear, I would oppose any policy that would deny in our country any human being access to public safety, public education or public health. Period,” she declared defiantly.
What makes the former vice president’s statement more surprising that Harris’ is that the primary reasoning behind Biden’s run is electability and that he is not seen as an unsalvageable leftist like Bernie Sanders.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), there were a total of 109,144 illegal aliens apprehended in April and 628,194 CBP enforcement actions so far in FY2019. The sheer volume of migrants has overwhelmed CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as the whole system.
So, at a time when more than 30 million Americans lack health insurance, Joe Biden thinks it makes sense to ask them to cover illegal immigrants? Or that offering free health care to anybody who wants it will do anything besides incentivizing illegal immigration?
It was not so long ago that Biden understood that any “obligation” the government has is to the well-being of the American people.
When the Obama White House was trying to marshal support in December 2013 for an ill-fated immigration compromise, then-Vice President Biden participated in an answering session with a group of so-called average Americans.
A woman on Skype asked Biden what he would say to Americans who see illegal immigrants getting access to benefits, such as health care and education.
“Well, first of all, they don’t get health care. Number one and they won’t qualify for health care,” responded the vice president.
“There is this misnomer that somehow with us moving toward immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship that all of sudden 11 million folks who are in the shadows are going to be able to qualify for all of these government programs. They will not qualify, they do not qualify,” he stated.
Nor did Biden feel any obligation in 2006 to individuals who’d had their immigration status adjusted because he voted to prevent them from accessing Social Security based on work performed when they were illegal.
Surely Biden knows that Americans already are paying for illegal aliens’ health care every time they go to an emergency room. He should have because he was in Congress when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton told a House panel that the government has to “draw the line between who is entitled” to coverage and who is not.
Responding to a question from Rep. Gary Franks (R-Conn.) about how illegal aliens would be “be dealt with in your proposal,” Clinton testified on September 28, 1993 to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that they would not be covered.
“And then finally as to illegal aliens, we agree with you that we do not think the comprehensive health care benefits should be extended to those who are undocumented workers and illegal aliens,” said Clinton.
Why did she believe it was a bad idea?
“We do not want to do anything to encourage more illegal immigration into this country. We know now that too many people come in for medical care as it is. We certainly don’t want them having the same benefits that American citizens are entitled to have,” she added.
Extending health care coverage – among other entitlements – to a growing illegal immigrant population will unquestionably further burden an immigration and a health care system that are at their breaking points. Biden may win praise from the extreme left-wing of his party, but he will find himself losing (again) with the American people.