Dems Say No To Five-Year Waiting Period

“Democrats On The Senate Finance Committee Defeated A Republican Amendment To A Healthcare Bill That Would Require Legal Immigrants To Wait Five Years Before Accessing Federal Health Benefits.”  (Jeffrey Young, “Senators Reject Five-Year Wait For Immigrant Healthcare,” The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, 10/1/09)

“Democrats Argued That A Five-Year Waiting Period Would Be Unfair To Immigrants Legally Residing In The United States And Paying Taxes.”  (Jeffrey Young, “Senators Reject Five-Year Wait For Immigrant Healthcare,” The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, 10/1/09)

  • But, “Under Current Law, Legal Immigrants Must Wait Five Years Before They Can Receive Medicaid Benefits.”  (Jeffrey Young, “Senators Reject Five-Year Wait For Immigrant Healthcare,” The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, 10/1/09)

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Cited The Government Mandate To Buy Health Insurance And The Penalty For Not Doing So As Justification. “Moreover, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) argued, it would run counter to the bill’s requirement that nearly everyone obtain health insurance or face a financial penalty. ‘This amendment sets up a Catch 22 for legal immigrants,’ Menendez said.”  (Jeffrey Young, “Senators Reject Five-Year Wait For Immigrant Healthcare,” The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, 10/1/09)

Menendez’s statement that a five-year waiting period would be a “catch 22” for legal immigrants does more to demonstrate the flaw, indeed the inanity, of mandating health insurance and exacting a penalty on anyone who didn’t buy, more than it does to justify his position.

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