Health Compact and Illegal Aliens

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on November 3, 2011

A new health care report highlights what it says is the potential for expanding taxpayer-funded health care to illegal aliens.

The report, "The Health Care Compact: A Trojan Horse that Will Decimate State Budgets," analyzes a new route some states, such as Texas and Georgia, have pursued to get out from under the federal mandates of Obamacare. A movement has arisen, the Health Care Compact Alliance, promoting the adoption of state compacts. The compacts effectively nullify the application of the federal health reform law to compact-joining states.

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American Healthcare Education Coalition says the compact would actually not accomplish many of the things advocates purport. Specifically, AHEC's report notes, "The adoption of the Compact will undermine current provisions of federal law that limit the ability of illegal aliens to access federal health care benefits."

Just as the Compact gives states the ability to override the Hyde Amendment, the Compact also opens the door for states to override aspects of federal law, including the 1996 Welfare Reform Act that prevents illegal aliens from accessing many federal welfare benefits, including Medicaid. By overriding this aspect of federal law, a state could unwittingly undermine our nation's immigration laws, thus further encouraging more illegal immigration. In fact, the HCC's funding formula actually rewards states that have adopted policies that create magnates for more illegal immigration. The Compact adjusts state payments based on population growth and that formula fails to exclude illegal aliens from the population adjustment.

Many Americans regard health reform as going too far. And many Americans take great exception to the federal law's creation of loopholes through which illegal aliens will grab taxpayer-funded health privileges. It appears yet another risk exists that could add insult to injury.

Topics: Health Care