This article contains editorial content by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today
WASHINGTON, DC – So it WAS a lie.
During his 2009 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama insisted that Affordable Care Act subsidies “would not apply to those who are here illegally.”
In response, Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina stood up and yelled: “You lie!”
Wilson was booed, of course. He was ridiculed. And he was right.
The Biden administration approved a plan that allows the state of Colorado to subsidize health insurance exchanges for illegal immigrants. The state is receiving the funds under a provision of Obamacare known as a 1332 waiver:https://t.co/rZbYJVQuZD
— Michael Ginsberg (@mikeginsberg98) June 24, 2022
On Thursday, if one would like to fast-forward through 13 years to arrive at the heart of that lie, the Biden administration approved a program in Colorado that will pour billions of taxpayer dollars into a program that funds healthcare for illegal aliens.
The program was approved under Section 1332, a provision of the Affordable Care Act, that allows states to create their own requirements for insurance markets, according to a report in the Daily Caller.
Both the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services approved Colorado’s waiver request, which was submitted in November 2021. The federal government will provide $1.6 billion in pass-through funding to the state of Colorado over a five-year period to facilitate its healthcare exchanges.
That’s right. The federal government is generously giving $1.6 billion of YOUR money to people who do not belong in the country and are not eligible for the benefits provided to citizens.
Colorado’s application makes clear that its new healthcare exchanges are intended to facilitate the sale of taxpayer-subsidized health insurance to illegal aliens. The state wrote in its application of the Colorado Option:
“The State will be implementing a State-based subsidy program in plan year 2022, aimed at reducing the out-of-pocket cost sharing for individuals and families purchasing coverage through the exchange. In plan year 2023, a new subsidy program will be offered to Coloradans not eligible for federal subsidies, including Coloradans without a documented immigration status.”
The application continued:
“Pass-through savings derived from the waiver will support State-based subsidies for health insurance affordability supporting Coloradans that may find out-of-pocket costs unaffordable or that are not eligible for premium tax credits under the ACA, including those Coloradans that are not eligible due to immigration and documentation status, or lack thereof.”
The Affordable Care Act prohibits those who are not citizens or “alien[s] lawfully present in the United States” from being “treated as a qualified individual and may not be covered under a qualified health plan in the individual market that is offered through an Exchange.”
During his 2021 confirmation hearings, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra agreed that Obamacare prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving government-subsidized insurance. He testified:
“Where the law as it stands now as I see it, it does not allow those who are unauthorized in this country to receive taxpayer-paid benefits except in very rare circumstances. And it will be my job to make sure that we are following and enforcing the law.”
A spokesperson for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services within HHS explained how the government was able to get around a clearly stated prohibition against illegal aliens entering the program, citing the nature of 1332 waiver plans when explaining why it is now legal for Colorado to ignore the will of the American people.
Due to the structure of the waiver and grant process, the spokesperson said, the federal government does not directly provide subsidies to individuals who purchase insurance on exchanges created under Section 1332. Instead, the federal government will offer so-called “pass-through funds” to the state of Colorado. The spokesperson told the Daily Caller:
“The state can then use pass-through funding for purposes of implementing its approved waiver plan. This includes using the pass-through funding to provide state subsidies to those not currently eligible for federal subsidies under the ACA, and to fund other state affordability programs.”
The Daily Caller contacted the state of Colorado to determine the number of illegal immigrants it expects will take advantage of the state’s largesse but no one from the state has responded. The state’s proposal projects that overall enrollment in the exchanges will increase 15.1% through 2027.
Colorado officials are hoping to enroll about 10,000 illegal aliens under the subsidized health insurance program in the first year, with more enrollees every year thereafter, according to a Breitbart report.
In the first year of the program, the state will be allowed to enroll up to about 10,000 “unauthorized” Coloradans, which is a small portion of the state’s ineligible inhabitants. Approximately 300,000 illegal aliens reside in Colorado.
Earlier this year, Democrat Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation that will make pregnant illegal aliens and their children eligible for Medicaid, beginning in 2025. That plan will cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $30 million a year, as the federal government will be paying most of the fees.
So even if you don’t reside in Colorado, didn’t vote for Polis and do not want illegal aliens receiving any inducements to relocate to the United States, you will STILL be paying for their medical care.
Congressional Republicans are livid over the Biden administration’s approval of the insurance proposal, with Colorado Rep. Ken Buck saying it violates the “clear intent” of the Affordable Care Act. Buck said in a statement:
“While Americans suffer at the pump, Biden gives their tax dollars to illegal aliens. This is one more episode of the Biden administration’s almost unbelievable commitment to putting the needs of Americans behind everyone else.”
In the same statement, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert said:
“This is just plain wrong.”
“Democrats are putting illegal aliens first and Americans last. While Coloradans struggle to pay for gas and are being destroyed by inflation, Democrats’ top priority is to take your tax dollars and use them to give illegal aliens free Obamacare.”
FAIR study: 14.5 million illegal aliens are living in America at a net cost to taxpayers of nearly $134 billion
January 29, 2021
According to a recent study by FAIR, or the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the estimated number of illegal aliens as of 2020 living in the United States is approximately 14.5 million, with a total cost to U.S. taxpayers now amounting to $133.7 billion.
— FAIR (@FAIRImmigration) January 29, 2021
FAIR describes itself on its website as a “non-partisan, public interest organization with a support base comprising nearly 50 private foundations and over 1.9 million diverse members and supporters.”
The website also states that FAIR’s mission is to:
“examine immigration trends and effects, to educate the American people on the impacts of sustained high-volume immigration, and to discern, put forward, and advocate immigration policies that will best serve American environmental, societal, and economic interests today and into the future.”
On December 31, 2020, FAIR authors Spencer Raley, Madison McQueen, and Jason Pena published a study entitled “2020 Update: How Many Illegal Aliens Live in the United States?”
In the study, the writers are careful to define “illegal alien” as anyone who:
- Entered the United States without authorization, or
- Anyone who unlawfully remained in the United States once their authorized time of stay expired.
The authors explain that such a definition is important because many entities make a “dishonest effort to portray [the illegal alien] population as smaller than it is in reality.”
They also assert that many entities and media outlets erroneously declare that “unaccompanied alien minors (UAMs), recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and/or those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) [are] lawfully present in the United States.”
2020 figures in the study show that an estimated 14.5 million illegal aliens meeting that definition live within the United States, which represents a slight increase over the 2019 estimate of 14.3 million.
Fiscal burden has likewise expanded. The cost of at least $133.7 billion through 2020 represents an increase of nearly $2 billion over the past year.
— FAIR (@FAIRImmigration) January 28, 2021
Previous years have shown a more rapid increase in illegal alien population, accompanied by a corresponding increase in the financial cost.
For example, between 2013 and 2016, the illegal alien population rose from approximately 11.5 million to approximately 12.5 million. During the same time period, the fiscal burden increased from approximately $113 billion to approximately $116 billion.
Between 2016 and 2019, the estimated illegal alien population rose from 12.5 million to 14.3 million, and the total cost of illegal immigration increased from approximately $116 billion to approximately $133 billion.
The authors attribute the comparatively slower rise in illegal alien population between the 2019 and 2020 measurements to two primary causes.
First, the authors point to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on illegal immigration. Stating that up to 60 percent of new illegal aliens are those who have overstayed visas, the authors point to President Trump’s “timely travel freeze” as an action that prevented many from overstaying their visas during the time of the pandemic.
Also with regards to coronavirus, the authors note, the decreased availability of jobs in the United States during the time of COVID meant that border traffic slowed “significantly.”
— FAIR (@FAIRImmigration) January 29, 2021
Second, the authors state that the implementation of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) decreased the influx of illegal aliens by requiring asylum applicants to remain in their country of origin during processing of their cases, rather than disappearing in the United States before their hearings.
The study authors do admit that their illegal immigration numbers are an estimate, noting:
“In truth, we do not know exactly how many people cross the border unlawfully and evade immigration authorities.
“We can only estimate these figures based on how many individuals U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) believe slip through their detection.”
The actual numbers could in fact be higher, as suggested by a 2018 study by two Yale professors and an MIT instructor who were, ironically, seeking to prove that there were far fewer illegal aliens in the United States than previously thought.
Their findings instead indicated that in 2018, there were approximately 22.1 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. A more conservative estimate still was reported as high as 16.7 million.
The FAIR study authors also identified factors that continue to encourage illegal immigration into the United States.
– increasing sanctuary jurisdictions that disallow local law enforcement from cooperating with federal authorities.
– use of illegal labor by corporations.
– “An increasing number of states and jurisdictions offering social welfare programs and other benefits to illegal aliens, including in-state tuition, driver’s licenses, and even COVID-19 relief funds.”
– large backlogs in immigration courts.
– “The promise of a wide-sweeping amnesty from the incoming administration.”
— FAIR (@FAIRImmigration) January 29, 2021
The authors then go on to point to Biden’s other plans for immigration, saying:
“President-elect Joe Biden pledges to dramatically decrease immigration enforcement, remove methods of deterrence, and offer amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.
“Due to these promises, FAIR projects that the illegal alien population under a Biden administration will increase dramatically.”
Given the reported increases in fiscal burden that have accompanied increases in the illegal alien population over the past several years, it stands to reason that as the illegal alien population “increase[s] dramatically,” so will the financial burden to U.S. taxpayers under a Biden administration.
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