Published in The New York Post on July 22, 2008.
In yesterday’s Post, we criticized Barack Obama’s plan to “give health insurance to 47 million Americans who are now without coverage.” We raised the question: “Are they Americans?” – noting that the 47 million statistic includes those who’ve come here illegally and are subject to deportation.
The Obama campaign complains that the senator has no such plan. Indeed, he’s said his plan “does not” cover illegals: “We’ve got limited resources. And it is important for us that, when we’ve got millions of US citizens that aren’t yet covered, it’s important for us to make sure that they are provided coverage.”
Yet the Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the 47 million figure includes illegal immigrants. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal criticized Obama’s use of that figure, noting that his plan would fall short of it because it allegedly excludes illegal immigrants.
Obama can’t have it both ways. He can’t say he will cover 47 million Americans – as he has again and again in speeches and even in a national TV ad as recently as last month – and then turn around and deny that he’ll cover the illegal immigrants who are included in that count.
The fact remains that the single most prominent aspect of Obama’s domestic-policy proposals is his pledge to cover 47 million uninsured people who live in the United States. The fact that the fine print of one of his speeches may indicate that he’s not being truthful and doesn’t plan to cover the illegal immigrants among them is far from compelling.
The senator is either misrepresenting when he says he’ll cover 47 million or when he denies that he’ll cover illegal immigrants. We choose, given his liberal pedigree, to believe that his denial is inaccurate and his original statement, repeated again and again, is controlling.