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Obama camp implies healthcare plan doesn't include illegal aliens; another lie?

Dick Morris recently suggested that John McCain highlight his contention that Barack Obama's healthcare proposal covers illegal aliens. Lester Feder at the Huffington Post asked the BHO campaign about this:

David Cutler, senior health care adviser to the Obama campaign, says Morris's argument flies in the face of the plain language of the Obama plan. He notes that it reads, "My plan begins by covering every American." Cutler added in an email, "That should have been enough for" Morris.

It's not enough because many Democrats have used "Americans" to mean various things, from U.S. citizens to U.S. citizens plus immigrants to U.S. citizens plus immigrants and illegal aliens to everyone in North and South America. In the mind of many Democratic Party leaders, the word "American" is a bit fluid.

Further, the numbers don't add up: The 45 to 47 million people that BHO touts as covered by his plan include millions of people who aren't U.S. citizens.

For instance, BHO's page (barackobama.com/issues/healthcare) includes this quote from his May 29, 2007 Iowa City, IA speech:

If you are one of the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance, you will have it after this plan becomes law.

In the text of the page, it says this:

47 million Americans — including nearly 9 million children — lack health insurance with no signs of this trend slowing down.

Now, let's turn to the Census Bureau chart in this PDF file (link). On Page 21, the number of those without health insurance in 2006 is indeed 47 million (rounded). However, only 35.7 million of those are native born or naturalized.

10.2 million of the 47 million are listed as "not a citizen". The Census Bureau doesn't say what status those 10.2 million have, but some will be visitors, some will be those working towards citizenship, and some will be illegal aliens. Most likely a good percentage or a majority will in fact be illegal aliens.

Now, of course, there is a sneaky way that Obama might not be lying but simply being very misleading, as has been seen before. He could be thinking forward to his other plan, the one to give a massive amnesty to illegal aliens. If that's enacted, all those millions of illegal aliens would be magically transformed overnight into legal residents on the "path to citizenship" and they'd eventually become U.S. citizens, i.e., "Americans". Under that BHO plan, almost all of those 47 million would be U.S. citizens eventually, so, a few years after his plan was enacted, BHO will not have lied.

There are a lot of possibilities here:
1. The BHO campaign is lying/being very misleading about who would be covered by their healthcare plan.
2. The BHO campaign has a flexible definition of "Americans".
3. The BHO campaign has a circuitous, trans-Clintonian "out" involving the massive amnesty they'd grant.
4. Other explanations even beyond anything Bill Clinton could ever come up with.

I'll try contacting Cutler to see which it is.

7/23 UPDATE: No reply has so far been received from Cutler. And, Morris does the math for the BHO campaign again:

The senator is either misrepresenting when he says he'll cover 47 million or when he denies that he'll cover illegal immigrants. We choose, given his liberal pedigree, to believe that his denial is inaccurate and his original statement, repeated again and again, is controlling.

7/23 UPDATE 2: I sent the email again, this time to Cutler's faculty assistant. She replied that she'd pass the message along but she couldn't guarantee when/if he'd reply.

7/27 UPDATE: Still no word from Cutler. In comments, a presumed BHO fan tries to claim that the 10.2 million is just legal immigrants. First, it doesn't matter: legal immigrants are neither citizens nor (in our dictionary) Americans. Second, the linked PDF from the Census Bureau says absolutely nothing regarding the immigration status of those 10.2 million. At the beginning it does says this:

The data in this report are from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the 2007 Current Population Survey (CPS). The population represented (the population universe) is the civilian noninstitutionalized population living in the United States.

And, this CB page describes the CPS, saying:

Because all residents of the United States living in households are represented in the sample of households interviewed by the CPS, undocumented immigrants or illegal aliens are probably included in CPS data. Because the CPS makes no attempt to ascertain the legal status of any person interviwed, these individuals cannot be identified from CPS data.

Immigration2008a · Tue, 07/22/2008 - 10:34 · Importance: 1

Tue, 07/22/2008 - 22:21
Anonymous

He'll never specify. You could ask him point blank and he won't give a clear answer. Because if he does, somebody will be upset and politicians are all about not doing that. About the only thing he seems really committed to is driver licenses for illegal aliens. With the love affair from the media, I'm sure he figures he can slide right into November without taking a stand on anything.

Wed, 07/23/2008 - 06:40
llamajockey

Lonewacko, This point has been coming up more and more. Download the first hour of the Lou Dobbs radio show from 07/17. Essentially the Democrats are finding that they have climbed onto the tiger's back. Now they are being held hostage by the Hispanic Congressional Caucus and the Open Borders lobby. The expectation being that Universial Health Insurance is to be sidetracked while "CIR" is to be once again greenlighted by a possible Obama White House and Pelosi/Reed led Congress. Clearly this is a political bombshell. It is worth noting that Michael Moore shrewdly downplayed the issue of just how many AMERICAN CITIZENs are without health insurance, by focusing his film SICKO on Americans who have health insurance but find that it is so expensive and limited in coverage to be in many cases worthless. Still the idea that anything close to 40 million Americans, excluding the 7-12 million illegals who routinely take advantage of hour emergency rooms/charity wards, is an outrage.

Wed, 07/23/2008 - 12:00
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

I have Health care its called the VA And been paying for it for almost 40 years and i used it one time, anyone can get Health care just go into the Military. By the way we al are covered by law, no person in this nation can by law not have Health care, and its free if you have no money or homeless or nut's, and its the best in the world.

Wed, 07/23/2008 - 14:19
eh

If you extrapolate the federal budget deficit for May, you get a figure of over $1 trillion for the entire fiscal year. Given realities like that, anything like 'universal healthcare/health insurance' has no chance.

Wed, 07/23/2008 - 16:51
petty bourgeois

"Given realities like that, anything like 'universal healthcare/health insurance' has no chance." They will just print more money to pay for it. No problem.

Thu, 07/24/2008 - 00:48
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

petty bourgeois is right our money is air it owns all other money its a joke but it rulers the world until the powers to be want it to collapse, its all in the game. The dollar is still King for now. By the way you are right about Obama and McCAIN Both need massive amnesty and healthcare is the selling point for big business and the end game is mass population enslavement and it will work with 40 million and 100 million new family rats coming on the boat.

Sun, 07/27/2008 - 18:07
SteveH

That number isn't illegal immigrants. It's all immigrants who aren't citizens, including all legal immigrants.