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RomneyCare Funded Health Care for Illegal Immigrants

That’s according to the L.A.Times. Apparently, the provision to pay for the medical care of illegal immigrants wasn’t specifically spelled out in RomneyCare, but the law was understood that way by Massachusetts officials. This story pretty much neutralizes Romney’s attack on Perry’s college tuition subsidies for illegal immigrants:

Although [RomneyCare] explicitly bars undocumented immigrants from getting certain health benefits, it does not prohibit them from receiving aid through the Health Safety Net.

For example, the law mandates that only noncitizens “permanently residing in the United States under color of law” may receive government subsidies to buy health insurance.

The law also spells out that undocumented immigrants aren’t eligible for the state’s Medicaid insurance program for the poor, known as MassHealth.

But the Health Safety Net, in contrast, is off-limits only to people who “moved into the commonwealth for the sole purpose of securing health insurance” or who are eligible for another insurance plan.

The report shines even more unflattering light on Massachusetts health care reform, a topic Romney undoubtedly wants to avoid. In a way, it’s fortunate for his campaign that RomneyCare was already so unpopular that nothing can really make it look any worse. If Romney’s conservative supporters can get over the mandate issue, certainly they can overlook the illegal immigrant one as well.

But it does make Romney look particularly hypocritical after his attacks on Perry’s illegal immigration record. What I don’t get is that this information is out there, and yet Rick Perry decided to attack Romney with the old-and-tired illegal gardener non-scandal at the last debate? Was the Perry campaign just not aware of this yet? It probably would have made for a much cleaner hit.



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