AMAC Exclusive – By Sam Adolphsen
The latest and greatest Biden boondoggle makes his twisted priorities clear: he cares more about foreigners and prisoners than he does our nation’s elderly and disabled citizens.
As the country bumps up against the debt ceiling and House Republicans attempt to rein in out-of-control spending, Biden is wandering further down the path to socialism. Maybe he saw an ice cream cone off in the distance. Or perhaps he’s blindly following his left-wing bureaucrats toward economic ruin.
Either way, the latest salvo in Democrats’ War on Work in America is an announcement of a forthcoming regulation that would expand Medicaid to millions of people who are not eligible for the program.
While welfare expansion is no new thing for the left, these latest expansion proposals go beyond the realm of sanity to expand welfare to two new classes of recipients – non-citizens and prisoners.
The White House said this month that the Department of Health and Human Services “will shortly propose a rule amending the definition of ‘lawful presence,’ for purposes of Medicaid and Affordable Care Act coverage, to include DACA recipients.” This means nearly a million non-citizens, who have never been Medicaid eligible, could start enjoying taxpayer-funded care free of charge.
Of course, this giveaway to illegal immigrants isn’t particularly surprising given that Biden’s head of Health and Human Services is the former Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra.
The left coast state serves as a petri dish for so many destructive ideas, especially when it comes to welfare. California already gives Medicaid to non-citizens. It has not gone well so far – California is struggling with an estimated $30 billion budget deficit this year.
As if expanding welfare to those coming across our borders isn’t enough, the Biden administration has also proposed expanding welfare into jails and prisons. The proposed expansion would be “for certain individuals who are soon-to-be former inmates of a public institution.” These “certain individuals” are also known as “prisoners.”
This is not the first time that Medicaid has been expanded well beyond its original intent to cover a population that shouldn’t get the welfare benefit. Millions of able-bodied adults were added to the program under then Vice President Joe Biden when Obamacare was passed.
As a result, the nation now has 100 million people on a program that was originally meant for the truly needy, disabled, and elderly. Most of these able-bodied adults don’t work at all, a problem that is dragging down our nation’s work ethic and causing a workforce shortage crisis across America. The labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been since the late 1970’s and there are nearly 10 million open jobs that continue to go unfilled.
This welfare giveaway to non-citizens and prisoners would be one more millstone around the necks of state budgets as well. Medicaid is partially funded by state tax dollars, and the program is already tanking state budgets across the country. Medicaid accounts for one out of every three dollars spent in state budgets and it is crowding out other priorities like roads, public safety, and education.
These extreme proposals aren’t surprising given the source, but they are shocking in their brazenness, doubling down on outrageous actions from Biden such as allowing Medicaid funds in Oregon to be used to buy things like air conditioners to “combat the climate crisis.”
Biden has also proposed a rule that limits states’ ability to verify whether someone is actually eligible for the program before they give out the benefit. This is a huge problem in a program where one out of every five dollars is already spent improperly.
There will be major negative ramifications of these latest lefty welfare expansions.
The bottom line is that the program was meant to take care of our vulnerable elderly and disabled citizens, not able-bodied adults, criminals, and non-citizens. Medicaid is the primary funding source for more than 60 percent of all nursing home residents, and many disabled citizens around the country are on waitlists for services.
Biden claims he cares about actual priorities within Medicaid, like funding nursing homes, but his diversion of Medicaid tax dollars to left-wing priorities tells a different story. His latest proposal puts criminals and non-citizens ahead of American seniors and the disabled.
That’s just wrong. We should be putting American citizens and our truly needy first.
Sam Adolphsen is the policy director at the Foundation for Government Accountability, and the former Chief Operating Officer for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services where he oversaw welfare eligibility and fraud investigations.
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