Health insurance

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on the Lou Dobbs Option


Of the many perverse, twisted things in the health care monstrosity otherwise called reform, writes Shikha Dalmia in here latest Forbes column, its treatment of illegal immigrants might be the worst. If the Senate has its way, undocumented aliens will be barred from using their own money to buy health coverage from the proposed insurance exchange. This means, Dalmia notes, that at the same time the government will tell Americans how they must spend their money, thanks to the individual mandate, it will tell undocumented aliens where they can't spend theirs. This should be deeply troubling to civil libertarians. "Government intrusiveness combined with government discrimination is not a formula for social justice," she writes. It will make the progressive goal of universal coverage unattainable by permanently locking out a big chunk of the uninsured population from the health care market. If this is not a deal breaker for progressives, what is?

Read all about it here.

NEXT: Will Conservatives Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Judicial Activism?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. In a sick way, I almost wish Warty hadn’t scared off Lonewacko just so I could see what fucked-up bullshit the Wacko would come up with on this.


      1. What a whiny little bitch he is. Seriously. Petulant racist 9-year-old glue huffer.

        1. I’d still like to know the story behind is banishment. Maybe he photoshopped a picture of Matt to remove the glasses and put a cowboy hat on him and make him 10 years younger.

          1. Matt is Max Hardcore? It explains a lot, really.

        2. SF-

          Where is thy absolutist, steadfast, defense of liberty even if it means defending the right of the likes of Mr. 24 Dothead?

  2. Central England Temperatures: Do They Provide Evidence That Current Global Warming Scare Is Totally Blown Out of Proportion?

    Central England Temperatures and Global CO2 Emissions: from 1659 – 2009:

  3. Maybe if Shikha Dalmia realized that they were not “undocumented aliens” but “illegal aliens” who are not suppose to be in the USA let alone buying taxpayer subsidized insurance then she would understand

    1. Those are some impressive reading skills you got there, DJF.

      …its treatment of illegal immigrants might be the worst. If the Senate has its way, undocumented aliens will be barred from using their own money to buy health coverage from the proposed insurance exchange.

      You must be a public school teacher.

      1. Is this proposed exchange going to be composed of subsidized insurance?

        1. No. Subsidies accrue to the buyer, not the insurance.

          Make illegal immigrants — hell, make all immigrants — ineligible for subsidies.

          1. MIkeP. I have a better idea. Make all government subsidies to anyone for any reason illegal.

            1. Yes, that would work too.

      2. “””You must be a public school teacher.”””

        You must be someone who does not understand “Heath Care Reform” since it includes taxpayer subsidies for the poor and since many of the poor are illegals that includes them. What do you think the “Cadillac Tax is about?

        Also you must not understand that they are here illegally and so are not legally allowed to do anything in this country except leave

        1. they are here illegally and so are not legally allowed to do anything

          Tautology is fun!

        2. they are here illegally and so are not legally allowed to do anything in this country except leave

          Title and chapter please?

      3. Those are some impressive reading skills you got there, BakedPenguin, since Dalmia uses the incorrect but PC term “undocumented” and the blurb you copied wasn’t even in the article.

        You must be a public school flunkout.

    2. wait, wait, wait, I thought this whole public option bullshit was supposed to be market competitive. Subsidies, motherfucking subsidies, ok where do I join the angry mob with the pitchforks and torches.

  4. If the Senate has its way, undocumented aliens will be barred from using their own money to buy health coverage from the proposed insurance exchange. This means, Dalmia notes, that at the same time the government will tell Americans how they must spend their money, thanks to the individual mandate, it will tell undocumented aliens where they can’t spend theirs.

    Cue in Immigration Reform to fix this, aaaaannd . . .

    1. aaaaannd . . . voila! More voters for Obama in 2012!

      1. Re: PIRS,


    2. I’m in favor of a much more open immigration policy, for people of all countries.

      However, I think Illegal immigrants should first return to their home country, then apply for the same process as everyone else.

      1. However, I think Illegal immigrants should first return to their home country, then apply for the same process as everyone else.

        Eric, they would do that if it weren’t for the fact that many already have some assets in the US.

        1. And they thought there was a chance in hell that applying to the INS would do any good.

      2. Since “the same process as everyone else” accepts only 1% of the number of illegal immigrants who enter every year, I find your suggestion disingenuous.

        1. More then 1 million people were naturalized in the USA in 2008, are you claiming that there are 100 million illegals in the USA?

          1. I am claiming that those who enter illegally almost never qualify for the visas offered to the 1 million legal immigrants.

            The quota for those not covered by other visas is 5,000. That’s 1% of 500,000 illegal immigrants per year.

  5. A compromise in the world of politics is a bill that pisses off as many people as possible and provides the worst of all possible options. They think they can make the public less angry by showing them they listen to both the Marxists and the Xenophobes. Thanks Senators!

  6. So, in a health care bill premised on resolving the “cost shift” from uninsured patients to paying patients, they are forcing people to be uninsured.

    Genius. Sheer genius. Its as if they sit around in conference and tell themselves “There’s bound to be a way to make this worse. C’mon, people, think!”

  7. At this moment in time the democrats have to hit certain cost marks for the CBO report to be favorable. Since illegals would be heavily subsidized they would drive the cost up, so they get cut out for now.

    Once this passes the democrats will fix the situation with immigration reform which is coming next. This will have the added benefit of allowing the democrats to emphasize the issue at that time to portray the repubs as racist and pandering to the hispanic population.

  8. No, no. You guys don’t get it. This is supposed to make illegal immigrants go home! It’s supposed to solve the illegal immigrant ‘problem’ by making it so expensive to get medical care (or actually impossible) that the wetbacks will leave and get dried.
    Of course, the chances of that happening are rather small. It’s just going to lead to a black market in medical care. Which, come to think about it, might not be such a bad idea.
    Just so you understand, this is presented in the same tone as R C Dean–I really don’t think it’s a good idea (some folks on these lists tend to be rather literal-minded and miss sarcasm, litotes….)

    1. If ObamaCare passes in any form we will have ablack market in medical care anyway.

      1. Obamacare will force women to have back-alley appendectomies.

        Why does Obama hate women? Oh yeah, because Michelle is is wife.

        1. And why does he hate Canadians? Where are Canadians supposed to go for their medical care?

        2. Honestly, she is so uncharismatic it’s amazing. She’s like a female version of Matt Damon. MATT DAMON

          1. I thought Damon was charismatic in his role as the genius janitor when he told off the student in the bar.

            1. Charlie: I’ll totally pull a Good Will Hunting on those kids and that’ll put them in their place.
              Mac: How you gonna do that?
              Charlie: Well, you’ve seen the movie right?
              Mac: Yeah.
              Charlie: So all I gotta do is, I’ll ask them some big shot, like math or science, history-type college question aand that will totally stump them by knowing a lot more about the answer than they do.
              Mac: In that movie, Matt Damon played a genius janitor, you’re just a janitor.
              Charlie: Right, you stumped me with that one.

              1. Warty, it’s those bison fingers of yours that make you look like Michelle Obama.

                1. I’m active, I’m gesturing with my hands.

              2. WILL
                Why shouldn’t I work for the NSA? That’s a tough one.
                But I’ll take a shot. Say I’m working at the NSA, and
                somebody puts a code on my desk, somethin’ no one else
                can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break
                it. And I’m real happy with myself, cus’ I did my job
                well. But maybe that code was the location of some
                rebel army in…

                Sean’s Office

                …North Africa or the Middle East and once they have
                that location, they bomb the village where the rebels are
                hiding… Fifteen hundred people that I never met, never
                had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians are
                sayin’, “Oh, Send in the marines to secure the area” cus’
                they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there,
                gettin’ shot. Just like it wasn’t them when their number
                got called, cus’ they were off pullin’ a tour in the National
                Guard. It’ll be some kid from Southie over there takin’
                shrapnel in the ass. He comes back to find that the plant
                he used to work at got exported to the country he just
                got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his
                ass got his old job, cus’ he’ll work for fifteen cents a day
                and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile he realizes the only
                reason he was over there in the first place was so that
                we could install a government that would sell us oil at a
                good price. And of course the oil companies used the
                little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices.
                A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain’t
                helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They’re takin’
                their sweet time bringin’ the oil back, of course, maybe
                even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who
                likes to drink martinis and fuckin’ play slalom with the
                icebergs, it ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil
                and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now
                my buddy’s out of work. He can’t afford to drive, so
                he’s walking to the fuckin’ job interviews, which sucks
                because the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic
                hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’ cus’ every
                time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate
                special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with
                Quaker State. So what did I think? I’m holdin’ out for
                somethin’ better. I figure fuck it, while I’m at it why not
                just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn
                enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby
                seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I
                could be elected President.

              3. Although the dick towel is a strong idea, kitten mittens proved charlie is a genius.

                That and Night Man.

                1. Greatest. Musical. Ever.

                  1. The greatest musical ever was The Blues Brothers.

                    1. I’d agree, ProL, if it were tied for first place with the original version of The Producers.

                      Otherwise, musicals can pre-suck my genital situation.

                    2. I thought the best musical ever was “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.”

                    3. Too soon, highnumber, too soon.

    2. Most immigrants can point you to low-cost black market denists and doctors. You don’t need one of those fancy, clean offices to get your teeth cleaned. A garage will do.

      1. Sorry but I have to ask – are you really a Coyote? Not that there is anything wrong with that ….

      2. Considering I have a fair number of friends (native US citizens) who have learned they can get pricey dental and medical treatments in Mexico cheap, you have to wonder why the immigrants would be interested in getting medical care here.

        1. Because travel to Mexico can be expensive. Especially if you had to pay a great deal of money to cross over to begin with.

          1. Immigrants would still find it cheaper to travel back to Mexico for dental work or operations. However, getting back IN to the US would pose a problem . . .

            1. Exactly. Did you ever see the film La Frontera? Great film for understanding what the journey is like and what life is like after crossing over.

              1. I haven’t seen it, but I can tell you that in some ports, even with a perfectly valid visa, US Border officials look at you as if you crawled out from under a rock.

  9. They’re not undocumented aliens. They’re undocumented democrats.

    1. Only because the modern Republican Party has chosen to alienate them.

  10. Oooh, clever! Have the government subsidize necessities whether we want them to or not, so they can justify deciding who does or does not deserve access to such subsidized goodies!

    Soon as the government decides we all have a right to “free” food, we can therefore make it against the law for illegal immigrants to eat.

    1. Or make it illegal for anyone who is not a member of the party in charge to eat.

  11. This is fucked up on so many levels, it is hard to even know where to begin. There is a flip side of this. That is that illegals will be able to dodge out of the system all together and avoid the “pay to breath tax” that is mandated insurance coverage. If you are a young and healthy person unlikely to get sick and subject to bullshit community pricing of health insurance, you are better off as an illegal than you are as a citizen.

    1. Except for the fact that many “undocumented workers” do pay income
      taxes every year. My wife is going through the legal process but as of now would be classified as “illegal” despite having come here legally, paid taxes every year and made every effort to remain within the bounds of the law barring going home.

      Also, if every illegal immigrant paid income taxes, we’d probably lose a good deal of money, as most would not make enough to pay anything, but would qualify for tax credits.

  12. So health care reform will mean only outlaws are exempt from this boondoggle, quick how do I become an illegal.

  13. “pay to breath tax”

    “Breath Tax”. I like that. Rhymes with Death Tax.

    1. Tax ’em from first breath to last breath. This is gonna be great!

      1. sigh He’s sooooooo dreamy!!! WE LOVE YOU, DEAR LEADER!!! WE WANT YOU TO BE OUR BABY-DADDY!!!

    2. Yeah, but it’s supposed to be breathe (no thanks to John’s damn spelling) and breathe doesn’t rhyme with death.

      1. The man’s an artist – you wouldn’t understand

  14. So now instead of coming here to pick fruit or plant trees, undocumented aliens will be working as doctors and nurses?

    Hope and change indeed.

  15. A LINE IN THE SAND – From jacksmith – WorkingClass

    My Fellow Americans and People Of The World

    A strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option is STILL! CRITICAL!

    We have had a long hard struggle to find out what would be the BEST! that this congress and the Whitehouse could do to fix our highly dangerous, poor quality, most costly, and MOST! disgraceful healthcare delivery system in the world. It is clear that congress can do much more for the American people than what is proposed so far.

    It is clear that congress can pass a strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one. Expand Medicare and not levy any new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. LET THIS BE YOUR LINE IN THE SAND!

    Lastly, there can be NO! INDIVIDUAL MANDATES without a strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Or the American people WILL! and SHOULD! revolt with an all out CIVIL WAR against congress and this Government.

    House and Senate progressives and the tri-caucuses should aggressively push for the inclusion of a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. If the obstructionist kill meaningful healthcare reform, then you should kill this bill. Because it will be far worse than the healthcare disaster we have now. It’s failure will be on the obstructionist heads. And they will be punished and replaced.


    What is proposed in the Senate bill is the worst case scenario for health-care reform. It would shift trillions of taxpayer, public and private dollars into the hands of the private insurance industry (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America). And it would compel by law millions of Americans to financially support this oxymoronic criminal enterprise. You cant have a individual MANDATE WITHOUT A STRONG PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE!

    You will have NO! realistic way of controlling cost and quality. Cost will continue soaring through the roof bleeding the American people dry, and KILLing our economy. And our quality of healthcare will continue to decline below our current ranking of “WORST! quality of healthcare delivery in the developed World”.

    From the very start, the American people have been crystal clear about what they wanted. They wanted a humane single payer system like the rest of the developed world has (HR676). Or at least a humane strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE!! This is what the American people gave the democrats control of the house, control of the senate, and control of the Whitehouse to do.

    Those of you that can, should prepare now to remove every member of congress that fails to support YOUR healthcare reform with a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. Run against them in teams if you have to. But take them out. And replace them with a strong single payer or PRO PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE candidate.

    Now! is the time to bring maximum pressure on your members of congress. Contact your representatives and spread the word.

    The Public Option


    I have to tell you now that the H1N1 virus is a man-made WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! and TERROR! It is a WEAPONIZED version of a flu virus. It has swept the planet infecting millions. And causing a global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands, and injured millions.

    The H1N1 virus is the product of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! It was released in the U.S. in Texas in early January of this year, but not recognized until around April in California. The reason I know this is because when it came to America, it came to see me FIRST! How sweet…

    This was around the time the MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! assaulted the Whitehouse with all their devils deals to cripple and weaken YOUR! healthcare reform. Especially your right to have a single payer system like HR676 (Medicare For All) which most of you wanted.

    They don’t even want you to have your HUGE!!! compromise position of a strong government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. To compete with their DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, MURDEROUS, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PRODUCT (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America).

    They also wanted to take away your rights to have your government meet it’s responsibility to use it’s full power to regulate, negotiate, and control drug cost, healthcare cost and quality. Something every other civilized country in the developed World has done for it’s people. Their Greed! moral degeneracy and lack of patriotism knows no bounds.

    Many of you will remember that before we knew about H1N1. I posted a open message to the President and Congress warning them to be vigilant about their health, and cautious about any medical advice they received. As I said then “they will not hesitate to try and hurt you”.

    The U.S. and the World have been under a BIOLOGICAL TERROR ATTACK! for over a year now. It is CRITICAL that We The People Of The United States take away control of our healthcare system from the GREED DRIVEN MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    For our own National security, and the security of the world.

    A Strong, government-run, MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one, with the full unfettered power of the federal government to regulate, negotiate, and control cost and quality. Would be the most workable way to deal with this global crisis at this time. Including patent suspensions as needed for national security or the greater good.

    As an American I invite the peoples of the World to help us fix our healthcare crisis. And bring pressure on our government to meet it’s responsibility to protect global security by controlling, and removing the corrupting influence of GREED and the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT motivations from healthcare in the U.S. and around the World.

    I call on the governments of the World and the global intelligence community to track down these MASS MURDERERS, and bring them to justice. CONNECT THE DOTS! And be vigilant that they don’t slip in another viral strain on you under the cloak of H1N1 sequestration.

    Further, the proposed patent protection on biologic’s must be stripped from the US bill. And greatly shorten/restricted, or abolished completely. This is a grave danger to humanity and global security.

    I think President Obama is doing the best he can at playing the disastrous deck of cards he inherited from the previous administration. And I think he is doing an excellent job. But the wolves and devils of the medical industrial complex! are trying to exploit, and take advantage of his good heart, and desperate desire to help suffering Americans. But we must be strong and insist that healthcare reform be done right for the American people. Or everyone loose’s.

    This is all I can say in a message post. I’ll try to find a way to tell you more later.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith – Working Class

    p.s. The so-called nominal H1N1 virus is designed in such a way as to make it more lethal to children and young adults. The medical community must be more vigilant of secondary bacterial infections in the young caused by H1N1. And remember, a viral infection is also a transfer of genetic code to you. Think about it, and be vigilant. 🙁

  16. “undocumented aliens will be barred from using their own money to buy health coverage from the proposed insurance exchange.”

    That’s screwed up, but not as much as at first glance, because the whole BS of ‘reform’ is an Orwellian turning of ‘insurance’ into *welfare* while keeping the former label.

    The assholes could have implemented sensible market-oriented reforms which would have made insurance more competitive for those who have it, and simultaneously but separately worked on some gaps in the ‘safety net’.

    But no, greedy mofo’s wanted to grab it *all* and mash it up.

  17. Other stupidity — blocking them from purchasing the subsidized insurance does NOT stop them from purchasing healthcare service itself.

    1. Oops — I meant ‘stupidity’ about getting worked up too much about this (I was *not* saying it was stupid to let them straight-up pay directly for service.)

  18. “Rather it is the cold “Know Nothing” calculation that making life miserable for undocumented aliens will drive them to the exit.”

    I think it’s rather a notion of fair play that people who are breaking the rules by even veing in this country do not have a right to the services provided. Secondly, illegals will not be prevented by law form seeking healthcare or even insurance coverage (the fact that may be terribly expensive is not the same as being prohibited). Thirdly, you are assuming that people who are breaking the law by being in this country are not going to scam their way onto the regular insurance rolls?

    I object to the Dem’s health reform bill on just about all levels, but how it will make illegal alien’s lives more difficult is at the bottom of my list of concerns about it.

  19. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.