Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Illegal immigrants and health care, Part 2

President Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress about health care reform.
President Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress about health care reform.

The issue that drove Rep. Joe Wilson to become a heckler during President Barack Obama's health care address on Sept. 9, 2009, was the question of whether illegal immigrants would receive coverage from Democratic health care reforms. On the night of Obama's speech, we ruled that Wilson's outburst — shouting "You lie!" after Obama said that health reform would not insure illegal immigrants — was False .

Since then, many Republicans have said there's nothing in the bill that ensures people would have their citizenship verified before getting coverage, a claim that we will explore with this item.

In a "myth vs. fact" statement responding to the president's address, the House Republican Conference quoted President Obama saying, "There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."

The Republican conference then says, "Fact: Nothing in any of the Democrat bills would require individuals to verify their citizenship or identity prior to receiving taxpayer-subsidized benefits, making the president's promise one that the legislation itself does not keep.'"

We dug into the facts and found the Republicans were partly right and gave them a Half True .