WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a town hall meeting Tuesday on health care reform, Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) stated his opposition to legislation that would cover illegal aliens. Specter has been a long-time champion of amnesty for illegal aliens, he was the author of the 2006 amnesty bill (S. 2611) that was widely rejected by the American people. Specter's opposition to including illegal aliens under the proposed reforms is a clear indication of how strongly the public opposes the idea.
Facing constituents in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, yesterday, Specter said he "wouldn't support a bill that extends coverage to illegal immigrants." However, Specter went on to state erroneously that "none of the bills in Congress would provide health insurance to illegal immigrants."
A detailed analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) of the America's Affordable Health Care Act of 2009, H.R. 3200, reveals that illegal aliens would be eligible for government provided insurance, and could easily obtain government "affordability credits" to buy private insurance. An amendment that would have effectively prevented illegal aliens from receiving these benefits was blocked by Democrats on the House Ways & Means Committee. FAIR's analysis of the provisions of H.R. 3200 that pertain to illegal aliens can be found at www.fairus.org.
"FAIR commends Sen. Specter for opposing this costly benefit for illegal aliens," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "Illegal aliens and their dependent children account for as much as one-third of the medically uninsured in the U.S. Including them under the plan is unwarranted and would add billions to the price tag. We hope that the senator will use his influence in Congress to ensure that deliberate omissions and loopholes, like those in the House bill, that allow illegal aliens to benefit from taxpayer funded health care, will be corrected in the Senate."
The concerns raised by constituents at the Lebanon town hall meeting reflect the growing costs of illegal immigration both nationally and in Pennsylvania. According to a new report by FAIR, The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Pennsylvanians, state taxpayers spend nearly $49 million annually to provide health care to illegal aliens.
"In Pennsylvania and all across the nation, the public is understandably upset about the staggering costs of illegal immigration and adamantly oppose providing a full range of health benefits to illegal aliens," said Stein. "We hope that others in Congress join Sen. Specter in opposing any provisions that would require American taxpayers to provide the full spectrum of health benefits to illegal aliens."
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
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