On Thursday night, 2020 Democratic Debate moderator Savannah Guthrie asked those candidates whose healthcare plans would provide coverage for illegal immigrants to raise their hands. Ten hands went up.
President Trump, who is currently in Japan attending the G-20 Summit, tweeted, “All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!”
Pew Research and the Department of Homeland Security estimate the number of undocumented immigrants to be just north of 11 million. A Yale/MIT researcher puts that figure at 22 million. Either way, the price tag of medical care for this group would be staggering. But, I know, priorities.
Polls have shown that the majority of Americans are not on board with this. A Rasmussen poll conducted June 11-12 found that “31% of likely voters support making health care benefits available to low-income illegal immigrants under the age of 26 in their state. Fifty-five percent (55%) are opposed, while 13% are not sure.”
On Thursday, California became the first state to offer health care to illegals. Governor Gavin Newsom signed a budget which includes $98 million to provide full health benefits to 90,000 undocumented immigrants under the age of 26. Although the $98 million price tag is a small portion of the state’s $213 billion budget, these initiatives have a way of “expanding” rapidly.
The new provision, called MediCal, includes the “individual mandate” which imposes a fine on people who choose not to purchase health insurance. This feature was part of Obama’s Affordable Care Act until it was repealed in 2017.
Many Americans who were forced to pay this fine did not purchase health care because they could not afford it, which I assume will be true of many Californians who will be affected by it. Yet they will now be required to subsidize the health care of illegals.
The tax burden on California’s “wealthy” continues to increase. According to Forbes Magazine, the average combined state and local income tax burden ranges from 11% to 13.30%, making California the 45th worst state for taxpayers in their 2016 survey. At a certain point, upper middle-class and wealthy residents will simply leave the state. Between 2006 and 2017, over 1.2 million California residents did just that.
Currently, the state’s employee pension is underfunded (estimated at 65% of future liabilities), their homeless population is now over 130,000 and there is filth on the streets in their largest cities. Rather than addressing their own serious problems, lawmakers have taken on a new obligation.
If you look at California as a microcosm of America, it’s clear that the same arguments apply.
But, for this field of 2020 candidates, socialism is the flavor of the day. If one declares support for a new entitlement, the others quickly follow suit to the point where it’s hard to differentiate between them.
This will be a problem for them.
During the debate, South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg said, “This is not about a handout. This is about an insurance program.” No, Mr. Buttigieg, this is most definitely about a handout and it’s one that the country should not take on.
Let’s take care of Americans first.