Sens. Want to Ensure States Don’t Spend Medicaid $$ on Illegals

‘The law is the law, and this bill would stop states from circumventing the law to offer Medicaid benefits to illegal immigrants…’

GOP Rolls Out ‘Last-Ditch’ Bill To Repeal Obamacare

Bill Cassidy/Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced a bill Thursday that would prohibit states from spending federal Medicaid dollars on illegal aliens.

Republican Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde–Smith, who both represent Mississippi, co-sponsored the “Protect Medicaid Act” and released a statement in support of it.

“American taxpayers should not be responsible for providing health care to those who are in our country illegally,” Wicker said. “If states like New York or California want to provide their own funds to support unauthorized immigrants, they should shoulder the full administrative cost of providing these services.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Jan. 8 that all residents of the city, including illegal aliens, would receive free government-sponsored health care, through a new program called NYC Care.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it,” de Blasio said.

Current law forbids states from enrolling illegal aliens in Medicaid. California and New York have circumvented this by using state funds to expand health care services to illegal aliens, but it’s hard for the federal government to determine when state or federal funds are being used.

The “Protect Medicaid Act” would instruct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General to investigate “whether states that provide Medicaid services to illegal immigrants separate federal and state dollars.”

The inspector general would also determine whether states like California and New York have used illegal methods to finance health services for illegal aliens, and whether illegal aliens have impacted “the prices American citizens pay” for prescription drugs.

“The law is the law, and this bill would stop states from circumventing the law to offer Medicaid benefits to illegal immigrants,” said Hyde–Smith.  “This is a matter of fairness to states, like Mississippi, that follow the law and dedicate Medicaid resources to their citizens.”