Friday, September 11, 2009

Obama v. Rep. Joe Wilson

Last night MSNBC was hammering Rep. Joe Wilson because Section 246 of the health care bill supposedly already prohibits benefits for illegal aliens. The official bill, HR 3200, is available online from here. Section 246 (page 143) reads, in its entirety:

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
Notice two points on this:
  1. This section only restricts illegal access to "affordability credits," not to the public option, nor to any other benefit under the bill.
  2. Even if Sec. 246 did apply to the public option, the bill has no enforcement provisions. Rep. Wilson knows about this because he is on one of the two committees where, on party-line votes, Democrats voted down amendments to add enforcement.
Obama could have dealt with the issue of Sec. 246 and of enforcement honestly. He might, for example, have explained why illegals should be covered, or he might have said that he wants coverage for illegals to be removed. Instead he chose to say:
There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
It is possible to interpret this statement as true only in a Clintonesque sense where, by "our reform effort," Obama means something other than the bills currently working their way through congress.

The dishonesty of Obama's speech does not stop there. Consider this passage:
Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.
Is that charge "laughable," "cynical," or "a lie"? Actually, the primary source of that "charge" is Obama himself who, at a town hall on Wednesday, June 24, talked about saving money by denying health care to seniors, instead sending them home with a "painkiller." Also Democrats are talking about paying for Obamacare, in part, by reducing medicare expenses by $500 billion over 10 years. It is reasonable to conclude from that that they intend to deny at least some care to seniors. Again, Obama could have chosen to address this issue honestly but instead chose ad hominem attacks.

The dishonesty of Obama's speech does not end there but that is all that I have time for at the moment.

RELATED: Legal Insurrection has more details on HR 3200 and illegals.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has the latest excuses as the senate deals with coverage of illegals.

UPDATE: White House admits Joe Wilson was right.

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