From AC360 Sept. 10, 2009. While discussing Rep. Wilson's outburst during the President's speech, Tea Party oganizer Mark Williams says this about illegal immigrants receiving health care benefits:
WILLIAMS: Everybody seems to be leaving one very important thing out of this. And that is, the federal courts have spoken with regard to illegal immigrants or illegal aliens getting benefits, especially health benefits. We tried to bar them from doing that in California back in the '90s, and the federal courts slapped us down.
Even language specifically excluding them is not going to stand a court battle. So, whatever Obama believes -- and, for that matter, I don't even know what bill he was talking about. Does he have a proposal? Does he have a plan? What's he even talking about?
He and Roland Martin get into it in the above segment after the commercial break where Williams reiterates what he said about the courts, and Martin insists that there are no provisions for illegal immigrants to receive benefits in any of the proposed health care legislation.
Dave Neiwert gave me his slant on this:
Illegal immigrants entering an emergency room for treatment will be covered under any health-reform plan – because they are already. It’s a basic legal matter that emergency rooms cannot turn away anyone in need of emergency care. The courts have indeed decided this. The question is, does Mark Williams want it otherwise? Does he want emergency rooms deciding who lives and who dies depending on their ability to prove their citizenship? Does he want people to die on emergency-room doorsteps because they are undocumented?
Undocumented immigrants get no insurance benefits under the Obama plan, but the costs of their care will be covered under a more sane system. The taxpayers will wind up covering the costs, as they do now, but the costs should be less because the payment system will be more direct.
Those are the questions Roland Martin or anyone on that panel should have been asking Williams, but I guess that's expecting too much of CNN. I also would have liked for one of them to ask Williams if he thinks going to an emergency room is the equivalent of having health care coverage as I've heard one too many Republican member of Congress assert.
BLITZER: Let's get back to our panel talking strategy on health care reform and Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst, CNN's Candy Crowley joining us, political contributor Roland Martin, and Tea Party Express organizer Mark Williams.
We're going to get what Dana just reported. But, Mark, I want to give you a chance to respond to what Roland said, that John McCain himself agrees with the president that nothing in this legislation would give illegal immigrants in the United States the opportunity to gain from this proposed legislation.
WILLIAMS: Well, Wolf, it doesn't have to, because the courts have already spoken on. And that they will speak again if -- if -- if it happens.
But this bitterness that supposedly is directed toward Obama, if I have learned anything in my work with OurCountryPAC.org, it's that it's not bitterness. It's outrage at the socialist policies being embraced by this administration.
MARTIN: Nonsense. It's bitterness.
WILLIAMS: And that goes -- that goes double for W., by the way.
And, as far as the Republican Party goes, it's no surprise to any of us working stiffs out here that they allow themselves to be a doormat for what is happening in Washington, D.C.
The fact of the matter is, the Republican Party, as a whole, is absent without leave from this debate. And our representatives, our elected representatives, are falling down on the job of upholding and protecting the Constitution. And that's why the American people are rising.
That's why I had almost 10,000 people outside Chicago at our tea party the other day. People are sick and tired of being abused and then being called a mob of Nazis because they object to that.
BLITZER: All right.
WILLIAMS: We're the people who pay the bills.
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