WASHINGTON – Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis wants to use illegal immigrants to boost the president’s fledgling health care system by allowing them access to the contentious network as part of an amnesty package.
The immigration bill passed by the Senate would block illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer subsidized health care for several years after amnesty was granted, and would not force them to sign up for the mandated coverage.
But Polis is pushing his colleagues to pass legislation in the House that would provide health care to everyone living in the U.S arguing that taxpayers would save money by adding those immigrants to public health care programs now.
“American citizens are essentially being forced to pay for the health care costs of people who are here illegally every day, until we pass comprehensive immigration reform,” Polis told The Washington Times.
“We’re wondering why rates are going up … It’s no surprise. When somebody doesn’t have insurance, their costs are shifted onto other people that do,” Polis said.
The cost of subsidizing health care for immigrants is more than $82 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Polis’s proposal comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s revelation that just over 100,000 people have signed up for the president’s signature health care program, less than 4,000 in Colorado.
It differs vastly from the proposal last week by Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, who introduced legislation to delay the president’s health care law by one year.
Meanwhile, Obama issued a new policy directive Friday granting amnesty to illegal immigrants who are family members of those serving in the U.S. military.
The new policy would essentially prevent immigration officials from deporting illegal immigrants and instead allows them to “parole in place” if they apply through legal channels to live in the U.S.