Rep. Joe Wilson was chastised by his colleagues in the House of Representatives for loudly expostulating with the President during a speech Mr. Obama made to a joint session of Congress on health care. The President averred that illegal immigrants will not be covered by his plan, and Rep. Wilson took umbrage, accusing him of lying.
It turns out that the congressman was right to feel that the President was playing fast and loose with the facts. After all, if the President was correct why do the Democrats keep voting down amendments to the various health care bills that would require anyone seeking coverage to present proof of citizenship? The Hill reports:
Senate Finance Committee Democrats [today] rejected a proposed requirement that immigrants prove their identity with photo identification when signing up for federal healthcare programs.
Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said that current law and the healthcare bill under consideration are too lax and leave the door open to illegal immigrants defrauding the government using false or stolen identities to obtain benefits.
Grassley's amendment was beaten back 10-13 on a party-line vote.
If the Democrats don't intend to cover illegals why not write the legislation so as to guarantee that illegals can't game the system?
We've also been assured that the President's plan will not cover abortions, a matter of some concern to those taxpayers who believe, not unreasonably, that an abortion gruesomely snuffs out a child's life and shouldn't be subsidized by their tax dollars. Yet here we find the Democrats defeating GOP efforts to insure that the proposed health care reform bill contains unambiguous language to that effect:
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) said the [prohibitions on abortion] in the current law could easily lapse. He called on Mr. Baucus to fold the language into the health bill, making it permanent law. "Let's codify it," he said.
Abortion-rights supporters said the rights of women were in danger. "This is not maintaining the status quo," said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.). "It is a major, major change, and a poison pill."
The Hatch amendment failed 13-10 on a mostly party-line vote. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) joined Democrats in opposing it, while Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota was the lone Democrat in favor.
The panel also rejected an amendment Mr. Hatch said was needed to ensure the government doesn't discriminate against health-care providers who refuse to perform abortion procedures for moral or religious reasons.
Again, the same question arises. Why oppose language in the bill that would accomplish what the Democrats say they want to accomplish?
And then there's President Obama's promise from early on that he wouldn't sign any legislation that the public didn't have a chance to read, but Republican efforts to have the health care bill put online for a mere three days prior to the vote so the public can study it - even if legislators won't - are meeting with stout resistance from the Democrats. Informing the public about what their elected representatives are up to is evidently asking more than what Democrats can be expected to bear.
In other words, the Democrats, both in the Congress and the White House, seem to be making it clear that they simply can't be trusted to tell us the truth about their intentions, and that they can't be trusted to govern in the best interests of the people they're supposed to be serving. It really is a shame.RLC