Free Markets, Free People
Why did Rep. Joe Wilson Yell “You Lie!” At Obama?
He was a bit exercised about a certain line in the Obama speech. He’s since apologized for inappropriate behavior and, frankly I agree. It was inappropriate. Just like Obama calling Sarah Palin and other liars was equally inappropriate, especially when later hypocritically calling for “civility”.
But back to Wilson. He was apparently reacting to this line in Obama’s speech:
There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
So why was Wilson outraged. Most likely because he has actually read the bill in the House and what he has read doesn’t synch with what the president said. Here’s why:
The America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (HR 3200) is extremely complex and there’s no way to know how the bill ultimately will be implemented. First, it is unclear if illegal immigrants will be required to have health insurance, as would citizens and legal immigrants (green card holders). In its summary of the bill, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) states, “Under HR 3200, all legal permanent residents (LPRs), non-immigrants, and unauthorized aliens who meet the substantial presence test … would be required to obtain health insurance.”1 Substantial presence is defined as having been in the United States for at least 31 days during the current year and at least 183 days during the current year and previous two years. No mention is made of legal status in the legislation for determining substantial presence.
So under HR 3200, as long as anyone meets the “substantial presence” definition, regardless of “legal status”, they’re required to get health insurance. That would include illegal immigrants.
That’s why Joe Wilson yelled.