Obama Risks Losing Congressional Hispanic Caucus Support

By Ronald W. Mortensen on September 14, 2009

By guaranteeing that illegal aliens will not be included in any health insurance reform, the President risks losing support of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and their allies in the House and Senate.

As has been widely reported, during his recent address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama suddenly stopped talking about the 47 million "people" who lack health insurance and began talking about the 30 million "American citizens" who do not have health insurance.

President Obama then said, "The reforms -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally," which resulted in the outburst heard around the world when Congressman Joe Wilson blurted out "You lie!"

In an effort to prove Congressman Wilson wrong, both the White House and Senate Finance Committee moved quickly in the days following the speech to assure Americans that illegal aliens will be excluded from all elements of health insurance reform and that there will be verification provisions in any bill coming from the Senate and signed by the President.

The Hispanic Caucus, the National Council of La Raza, and the House Democrats are likely reeling at what has happened. After all, they had accepted the meaningless, limited prohibitions on illegal alien participation in health insurance programs in the House bill as long as there were no verification or enforcement provisions because this would have allowed the 75% of illegal aliens who have fraudulent Social Security numbers to use them to unlawfully obtain health insurance just as they currently use them to unlawfully obtain employment.

When President Obama meets with the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus this Wednesday (September 16), he will have to do some serious fence-mending if he is to keep their support, which is critical for the passage of his health insurance plan. The President may even have to promise to move ahead on comprehensive immigration reform (amnesty) at the earliest possible date in order to regain their support.