Taking Your Money And Giving It To Illegal Aliens
A board of unelected state officials recently shocked some of us in the legislature by taking action to approve a proposal to spend taxpayer dollars in the creation of a permanent and unconditional expansion of the welfare system. This was in violation of the clear legislative intent expressed in this year's illegal immigration reform bill.
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which administers Oklahoma's Medicaid program, voted to approve emergency rules granting taxpayer-subsidized medical coverage to pregnant illegal aliens on the theory that the new child will be a U.S. citizen upon birth. As it is now, illegal aliens are prohibited from Medicaid prenatal services.
This is being done despite the fact that federal law dictates this action may occur only after a state's legislature has given approval. The Oklahoma Legislature has not authorized any expansion of Medicaid for illegal aliens.
Making matters worse, Governor Brad Henry indicated he will sign off on this expansion of the welfare system. In taking this action, the OHCA board and Governor Henry seem to be saying that the taxpayers of Oklahoma should be forced to act as a welfare state for the rest of the world. Oklahoma will join only 12 other states across the nation who have a program like this.
The financial impact of this decision will be about $3 million a year, with $1.19 million coming directly from state funds and the rest from our federal tax dollars. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority reports it is delivering 2,767 babies each year to illegal parents, which costs state taxpayers in excess of $8 million.
This action is likely to provide additional enticement for illegal immigration into the United States. If an illegal alien can give birth to in America, the child automatically becomes an American citizen. When the child turns 18, he or she can in turn sponsor relatives for permanent U.S. residency. By using taxpayer dollars to fund this process, state government is directly enabling those who wish to bypass immigration laws.
It is my strong belief that this is yet another example of how harmful situations are produced by big government. As citizens, we have allowed government to take so much money from us in the form of massive taxation that it has become almost impossible to hold government responsible for their decisions on how the money is spent.
I also question the timing of the emergency rule approval. I do not feel it is a coincidence that the "emergency" occurred just days before House Bill 1804, the Illegal Immigration Reform Bill, takes effect.
It appears the Health Care Authority unsuccessfully attempted to extend prenatal coverage to illegal aliens through the Legislature for the past two years. Now, however, the recent vote seems to be an end-run around the clear will of the people's elected officials.
I believe we will be successful in reversing the decision during the next session of the legislature. I will certainly support the effort to keep your tax dollars from being misused in regard to this issue.