Congressmen Jay Inslee: Liar, or blatant incompetent?
Yesterday I had the... 'pleasure' of attending the first of two town hall meetings on universal healthcare.. I mean national health care, wait no, health care reform... no... now it's health insurance reform.
To restart... yesterday I had the... 'pleasure' of attending the first of two town hall meetings on health insurance reform and HR 3200 as is being negotiated and re-written in Washington DC at present.
While there I came with a camera in hand to document events, but also to see if the arguments of the congressmen had changed at all since his pair of telephone 'town hall's earlier in the month. (they had).
Unfortunately though, he repeatedly revealed himself to not be the most honest on the issues at hand.
During the opening of the meeting he talked for about 20 minutes about the status of the work in Washington, why it is needed and some common myths about the bill... #2 was with regards to the coverage of illegal aliens:
Seems pretty clear cut... but I was puzzled, because I knew about the amendment proposed by Representative Dean Heller (R-NV) which would have expressly forbidden inclusion of illegal aliens through explicit verification of legal status... but was rejected by the House Ways & Means committee... along party lines no less.
This is important... because without an explicit declaration and mechanism to enforce said declaration, any implicit allowance or vagueness can be used at the local level to allow it or through the courts to explicitly grant it (as was the case with public education).
On the way home while listening to Wednesday's episode (mp3) of the Mark Levin show, Mark mentioned a report from the Congressional Research Service titled "Illegal Aliens Can Receive Benefits Under House Health Care Bill" (PDF warning)... and upon getting home also found a write up of this press release on HotAir.com.
To quote the report specifically:
Under H.R. 3200, all legal permanent residents (LPRs),23 nonimmigrants, and unauthorized aliens who meet the substantial presence test (defined above) would be required to obtain health insurance.24 Noncitizens meeting the definition of nonresident aliens (e.g., temporary visitors, temporary workers in the United States for less than 183 days in the year) would not be required to obtain health insurance. Notably, the IRC does not contain special rules for individuals who are in the United States without authorization (i.e., illegal or unauthorized aliens). Instead, the IRC treats these individuals in the same manner as other foreign nationals—an unauthorized individual who has been in the United States long enough to qualify under the substantial presence test is classified as a resident alien; otherwise, the individual is classified as a nonresident alien.25 Thus, it would appear that unauthorized aliens who meet the substantial presence test would be required under H.R. 3200 to have health insurance.
So 3200 does refer to them... and even require them to carry insurance, but would we force poor illegal's to pay when poor citizens not to? HR 3200 does contain the following blurb:
Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
This would seem to be something that would prohibit money from going to illegal's... there is zero enforcement mechanism.
Under the current plan anyone who seeks assistance would be required to show that they are in fact in need and make less than 400% of the poverty level through IRS records and so on... and yet we do not have a similar requirement to check with INS records.
Odd that eh?
While some might say that this is not a lie because he may not know the truth and is simply pushing what he believes... if he is either unwilling or unable to keep with reports and non-partisan research on the subject (coming from the Congressional Research Service no less)... then this would be more of a lie due willful ignorance.
What's worse though... is today he repeated the exact same myth at his latest town hall today:
Suspecting his story wasn't going to change due to the facts I came with a copy of the CRS report and amendment in hand and waited for my name to be drawn from the box... sadly I did not get the chance to point out this strange double-standard... but did instead get to talk with a number of great conservatives and tell plenty of others about the fact that Jay Inslee clearly seems to not know what he is talking about.
Had I had my wits about me this morning (and more time)... I would have shown up with a large sign that said "Jay Inslee is wrong on healthcare for illegal's and I can prove it"... only to be displayed after he made the claim one more time. Maybe next time.
Sadly I'm rather new to this whole, going to town halls and heckling your elected representative when they pat themselves on the back rather than answer simple questions thing.
In either case... I truly think it is time to start offering Mr. Inslee some end of political life counseling... even though at both town halls he was rather popular with his constituents.