Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Are the Feds Taking Holt's Position on Pre-Natal for Illegal Aliens?

This NY Times article (subscription required) reports that the Administration, under pressure from Congress, is about to issue new guidelines for access to Medicaid.

In 1997 the Administration created the SCHIP program, which was the largest expansion of public insurance since medicaid in 1965. 50 million people are covered. Only the new Presicription Drug program might one day outstrip it in terms of number of dollars taken from taxpayer's pockets to fund socialized medicine as the last ten years have seen an explosion in give-away health care spending supported by both parties.

The new guidelines will demand all persons who use medicaid provide proof of citizenship rather than simply attest that they are citizens. The federal rules currently allow the mothers of illegal aliens access to prenatal services regardless of citizenship. Ten states have enacted such programs.

In Arkansas politics, the biggest bone of contention on this issue is that Senator Jim Holt's SB206 would have ended all state public benefits to illegal aliens, including non-emergency pre-natal care, such as pre-natal vitamins. Under SB206, illegal aliens would have to use their own money to pay for such services, rather than the taxpayer footing the bill. SB206 did not pass the senate, but Holt is running for Lt. Governor and has said he is inclined to enact the proposal by ballot initiative if the legislature does not pass a similar law in 07.

At first glance it would appear that the new regulations, set to go into effect July 1st, would exclude illegal aliens from non-emergency pre-natal programs. In other words, the Administration would do the same thing on this that Jim Holt has proposed doing via SB206. Of course, SB206 covers other things like Housing Assistance that medicaid does not. But Holt has taken a lot of heat on this issue by those who think the taxpayers ought to foot the bill for such programs and the highly paid government officials who administer them. It would be ironic if the Administration, pressured by Congress, did the exact same thing Holt has been raked over the coals for.

Someone who makes a living as a reporter should see if the new regulations would in fact prevent illegal alines from getting these benefits as it appears at a first read.


Blogger Joe Citizen said...

I still can't figure out why this is even an issue. This is the only country in the world that goes out of it's way to acomidate the needs of criminals. Holt gets a lot of bad press for what he sais, but at least he's honest, and right. Arkansans pay some of the highest taxes in the country already, and if the illegal immigration poulation keeps growing at the rate it's growing now we'll be paying even higher taxes to support social programs that are being exploited by the illegal immigrants.

1:55 PM, June 09, 2006  
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