Yahoo News‘ Chris Moody has obtained an “overview” of the immigration legislation that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will soon be attempting to sell his fellow Republicans, and he passes along this nugget:
There also is language in the bill that would prohibit those currently in the country illegally to receive government-subsidized health insurance benefits tied to the 2010 federal health care law for up to 15 years.
This provision will no doubt be key in keeping the immigration bill’s price tag low. But it is also unsustainable politically and would undermine Rubio’s entire Latino immigration out reach effort.
To understand why, all we need to do is revisit Obamacare’s original voyage through the Senate when The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein wrote the following about Sen. Joe Liberman’s, I-Conn., opposition to lowering Medicare’s eligibility age:
At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.
Got that? If you oppose giving anyone Obamacare, that is tantamount to murder according to The Washington Post. Klein then linked to an Urban Institute study purporting to show that “137,000 people died from 2000 through 2006 because they lacked health insurance.”
It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out how this will play out in the immigration realm. Five seconds after President Obama signs any immigration bill that denies free health insurance to newly legalized immigrants, the illegal immigrant industrial complex (National Council of La Raza, MALDEF, MEChA, etc.) will immediately begin attacking Republicans for denying Latinos Obamacare. Democrats will soon follow suit. There is no reason to believe their rhetoric will be any less harsh than Ezra’s.
It is becoming harder and harder to see what, if any, political or policy upside Rubio still sees in sticking with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s, D-N.Y., immigration reform bill. The sooner Rubio cuts his losses, the more likely he won’t end up becoming identified with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham wing of the Republican Party.