Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez insists free healthcare for those who enter the United States illegally is not a “handout.”
Perez claimed illegal immigrants in the U.S. “pay billions of dollars in taxes” and therefore deserve the free healthcare during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
(Video: Fox News)
Wallace confronted Perez on his party’s position on healthcare coverage for illegal immigrants after playing a video clip of last week’s 2020 Democratic debate as all 10 candidates raised their hand in support of the policy.
“Every person on that stage, all ten of them said that they would provide health insurance coverage for people in this country illegally, either under Obamacare or ‘Medicare for All,’ whichever they supported,” the Fox News host said. “No talk about preconditions, not paying in taxes. The basic point was, you’re in this country legally or illegally, you get health insurance coverage.”
“It’s an insurance program, so you have to pay into it. As you know immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, pay billions of dollars in taxes and that’s the reality,” Perez responded.
“What Democrats also said there Chris, which is far different than Republicans, is that if you have a pre-existing condition you should be able to keep your coverage. Democrats believe that affordable, quality healthcare should be available to everyone,” he added.
Wallace pressed Perez on the shifting position of Democrats, playing a 2009 video clip of former President Barack Obama, during an address to Congress, claiming that his health care law would not cover illegal immigrants, prompting the infamous outburst from Republican South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson who yelled, “You lie!”
“The fact is, 10 years later, Joe Wilson is right about where the Democrats are now,” Wallace said.
“Democrats believe that you should be able to buy into a health insurance system. It’s not a handout,” Perez said.
“Obama didn’t say that,” Wallace shot back.
“We were in a different era,” Perez offered as the excuse.
“I believe what we are doing right now, I live in a community right now where if you are a pregnant woman and you are undocumented, we provide you with access to health care because we believe that having good prenatal care is an essential health care issue an essential issue of economics and frankly an essential issue of morality,” he continued.
“The party of Lincoln is dead,” he added.
“And one of the things that died with it is compassion and this is not a handout,” Perez repeated. “Again, this is allowing people to buy into an insurance program.”
Democrats continue to tout the idea of universal healthcare – including for those in the country illegally – but cannot seem to defend the idea coherently. Twitter users slammed Perez for his attempted explanation and defense on Sunday.
Immigrants are NOT ILLEGAL. Why does he skew that? We are talking about ILLEGALs. He says they pay billions? I mean really?? Let’s see the figures to back that up?
— DLZ⭐️⭐️⭐️#WWG1WGA???? (@DLZMAGA) June 30, 2019
How about we take care of American Citizens ie Independent Business People and Farmers who have suffered huge premium increases as a result of the ACA …
— Jeffrey Eastman (@saladhog) June 30, 2019
When did the USA become the health care provider for the whole world?
— Jay Gee (@JayGeezy1) June 30, 2019
Wow they don’t even give US citizens tax payer funded healthcare…and now they want those uninsured citizens to pay more out of their paychecks to provide insurance for foreigners who don’t pay taxes. I can’t believe they take themselves seriously.
— KNewIT (@krysti_newton) June 30, 2019
The entire Democrat presidential pool does. Honestly it’s over for them. Ads will run non stop during a general campaign with a message 5% of Americans support. https://t.co/cojp58h3kf
— Jon Norman (@jnormanUSA) June 30, 2019
How are undocumented workers paying taxes?
— Brigitte (@im_mykidsmom) June 30, 2019
I should not have to pay for criminals to have health care!!
— Patriotic Flag Flyer??❤️ (@Trump2Win2020) June 30, 2019
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