Sacrificing American Children for Illegal Alien Health Insurance

By Ronald W. Mortensen on October 5, 2009

When Senate Finance Committee Democrats defeated an amendment last week that would have required photo identification for health benefits on a straight party-line vote, they joined their House colleagues in defending a culture of corruption that results in millions of American children having their identities being used by illegal aliens to obtain benefits that they are not entitled to.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: A Backgrounder, panel video, and panel transcript are available on this blog's subject.]

Sen. Grassley was absolutely correct when he argued that illegal aliens would use fraudulent or stolen identities to sign up for federal health care programs. After all, according to a senior Social Security official, three-quarters (75%) of illegal aliens already use fraudulent Social Security numbers.

The Social Security numbers of children are highly sought after since no one checks their credit histories. It is estimated that over 50,000 kids in Utah have been victimized primarily by illegal aliens; a million in Arizona.

In addition, as I explain in the CIS Backgrounder “Illegal but Not Undocumented: Identity Theft, Document Fraud, and Illegal Employment," illegal aliens have a myriad of other false documents – fake drivers licenses, phony U.S. passports, fraudulent green cards, bogus birth certificates, counterfeit visas, and the list goes on.

In spite of this, House Democrats refused to include any eligibility verification provisions in their health care reform bill with the full knowledge that illegal aliens could use their fraudulent documents to obtain health benefits just as they currently do to obtain jobs. The House bill was so weak that even the Congressional Hispanic Caucus was willing to go along with it and if Rep. Joe Wilson had not accused the President of lying about the immigration provisions, the Democrats may well have gotten away with providing back-door health insurance for millions of illegal aliens.

Sen. Bingaman’s assertion that Sen. Grassley’s amendment to require photo identification is a “solution without a problem” conveniently overlooks the fact that job-related identity theft and illegal immigration go hand in hand. In fact, Bingaman’s state, New Mexico, ranks number nine in the nation for identity theft and number 13 for the percentage of illegal aliens in its total population. Illegal-alien driven, employment-related identity theft accounts for 23 percent of total identity theft in New Mexico. Thus, there is little doubt that illegal aliens in New Mexico are well placed to fraudulently obtain health insurance using the same documents that they use to illegally obtain jobs.

Sen. Menendez, a strong advocate for illegal aliens, reportedly expressed concern that Sen. Grassley’s amendment would impact the most vulnerable in our society and warned that the children of illegal aliens could be excluded from health insurance because their parents lacked legal documents.

It would be nice if Senator Menendez would show the same level of concern for the millions of American children who have their identities being used by illegal aliens and who are saddled with bad credit, arrest records, income tax liabilities and corrupted medical records with life-threatening consequences.

Apparently, in the eyes of many of our senators and representatives, it is OK to sacrifice millions of American men, women, and children to identity theft so illegal aliens can obtain work in the United States and so they and their children can obtain health insurance.

As I recently wrote, “under a permissive U.S. system that fails to control the nation’s borders, that allows a fraudulent document market to flourish, that allows employers turn a blind eye to the legal status of their workers, and where civic, religious, and political leaders support felons over victims, it is not surprising that illegal aliens without a pre-existing allegiance to the rule of law see nothing wrong with using fraudulent documents to obtain jobs and benefits that they are not entitled to.” After all, As Transparency International points out, “People are as corrupt as the system allows them to be. It is where temptation meets permissiveness that corruption takes root on a wide scale.”

It is time for Congress to draw the line on permissiveness as it pertains to illegal aliens and health care. It is time for Congress to start protecting American citizens and legal residents from illegal-alien-driven identity theft and it is time for Congress to address the culture of corruption that illegal aliens bring with them.