Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouted “You lie” at the President during the latter’s speech to the Congress on Wednesday night. (The President had just said that his healthcare plan would not cover illegal aliens.) Of course, Wilson was right – I’d be hard-pressed to deny that the President lies, having taken that very position on this blog more than once, and I think he was lying in this particular case – but Wilson was also surely out of line to say so then and there.
Gail Collins writes this morning that “just to make sure nobody else ever goes off the rails like this again, the Senate Finance Committee is changing its version of the health care bill from one that does not provide benefits to illegal immigrants to one that absolutely, positively, for sure does not provide benefits to illegal immigrants.” I think that Ms. Collins, funny as ever, has sacrificed truth to accuracy. What really happened is that the Senate Finance Committee is changing its version of the health care bill from one that says it does not provide benefits to illegal immigrants to one that actually does not provide benefits to illegal immigrants.
This little distinction sadly captures the essence of the President’s method. His plan, recall, will not “force” anyone to change their health plans – it will merely result in their having no practical choice but to do so. Likewise, to say that the bill prohibits illegal aliens from getting free healthcare is like saying that our immigration laws prohibit them from being here in the first place. As, of course, they do.
On the merits of the issue, I don’t care. Indeed, I actually prefer illegal aliens’ being covered to my having to prove that I am a citizen. I mean, if healthcare is a universal human right, if we provide it to convicted felons, why on earth should we not provide it to anyone who can figure out how to get to the doctor? If the only effect of the bill is to make illegal aliens the only ones who still use the ER as a primary care center, what’s the point of the exclusion? And if I think that way, can we believe BHO does not think similarly? Which means he’s lying about what the bill does not because he thinks it lacks a flaw that it has, but because that flaw is entirely consistent with his program.
And, as Forest Gump might say, that’s all I have to say about that.