I just watched some clips of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talking with CNN's John King about the health care bill. Among saying that this WILL pass, Nancy had some rather interesting moments. John King asked Pelosi what will happen with Illegal Immigrants. He sited that currently, hospitals take in thousands of illegal immigrants every year (that's thousands PER hospital, not overall) and he asked what will happen once the bill is passed when these people show up at US hospitals. Pelosi said 'illegal immigrants will not be covered by the public option' (that's as close to verbatim as I can recall). King wanted more explanation, explaining that one hospital he spoke to does 6000 births a year and 70% of them are 'undocumented' people. Once Nancy beat around the bush muttering nonsense for a minute, she said that the health care reform bill will give people access to 'affordable insurance options' and that this would diminish the number of people showing up at hospitals 'like that' (illegals, uninsured). I think she was saying that's how the illegal immigrants will have to go - paying for it, not getting it free.
Okay so while I don't necessarily disagree with that, because I know that illegal immigrants have been a drain on many systems including health care, financial support, food banks, etc - I had a big problem with how Pelosi was speaking about the issue. She didn't really go into any detail at all, just stumbled over her words and half the time didn't even make sense. My wondering is - how are illegal immigrants supposed to get private care if they don't have documentation? They can't use the public option she is pushing for, and they probably won't be able to get private insurance if they can't provide proper documents to the insurer - so where does that leave the possible 10 million + illegals in the US? Where does that leave the hospitals and clinics? If they are bound by law to treat anyone who walks through those doors, how will this factor in once the new health care bill gets passed? The hospital is not supposed to turn them away, but the govt (taxpayers) are not going to cover them in the public option, and they won't have private insurance.
Now what? Isn't that a rather huge hole in the plan or am I missing something here? What are hospitals supposed to do when illegals show up needing medical attention? Where is that money going to come from now to cover their care and how is that going to affect LEGAL citizens who need care? It's already a huge drain on the system and I do think something needs to be done, but it's very confusing to hear Pelosi's 'answer'. King had a very valid question, but did not receive much in return from the person who is pushing this bill HARD in the House and says IT WILL PASS.
**I was trying to find a good copy of the vid but came across someone else wondering about this same interview, with a diff spin on it, and has the segment written verbatim in the TEXT**