Joe Wilson’s War

Joe Biden is complaining today that South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson shouted out “You lie!” to President Obama during last night’s speech to the joint session. Coincidentally, both Derek and I shouted out the very same thing at the same time. Sadly, Wilson is now apologizing for his outburst. 

What this country needs is a weekly “President’s Questions” to mirror the “Prime Minister’s Questions” in the UK:


  1. I thought Pelosi’s face lift was going to fall when he did that. Yes, it was disrespectful. But it was true. Sometimes a spontaneous utterance needs some attention – like saying the Emperor has no clothes. Yet something tells me you will hear more about his attitude than the reason he believes what he does.

  2. Obama was saying that there is no provision to require insurance for illegal aliens.

    That’s not true? Can you show us where that provision exists in any of the proposals before Congress?

  3. Author

    Hi Ed — happy to oblige. The ‘Governance’ summary at the beginning of Section 141 of HR 3200 is what Obama is referring to when he claims no illegal immigrant will receive insurance benefits. However, according to the CRS (Congressional Research Service) summary:

    H.R. 3200 includes an individual mandate to have health insurance, with tax penalties for noncompliance. Individuals who do not maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for themselves and their children would be required to pay an additional tax. Some individuals,including nonresident aliens, would be exempt from the individual mandate. “Nonresident alien” is a term under tax but not immigration law. For federal tax purposes, alien individuals are
    classified as resident or nonresident aliens. In general, an individual is a nonresident alien unless he or she meets the qualifications under a residency test. Thus, legal permanent residents, and noncitizens and unauthorized aliens who qualify as resident aliens (i.e., meet the substantial presence test), would be required under H.R. 3200 to have health insurance.

    In other words, if you’re here in a way that can legally be classified by the tax code as a legal permanent resident (LPR), then you will be required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Now, when the Exchange commences operation in 2013 (assuming we’re all still here), and the CRS report says the following:

    H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens participating in
    the Exchange—whether the noncitizens are legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently

    In addition, Medicaid rules will be altered a bit. Here’s what the summary says:

    H.R. 3200 as reported from the House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) would extend Medicaid eligibility up to 133 1/3% of poverty for populations that previously were not covered (e.g., childless adults and many parents). This extension of benefits could mean an increase in the number of noncitizens who already meet the immigration status requirements for Medicaid
    eligibility who would be eligible for Medicaid. Also, H.R. 3200 as reported by E & C would make eligible for full Medicaid noncitizens who lawfully reside in the United States in accordance with the Compacts of Free Association between the Government of the United States and the Governments of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, and are otherwise eligible for such assistance. This report will be updated.

    Here’s where you can download and read the CRS Report (pdf):

    Hope this helped!

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