Rep. Michele Bachmann Distorts Immigration To Block Health Care Bill

Michele BachmannRep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) wrote a blog post for today in which she falsely claimed that undocumented immigrants will be covered by the proposed health care bill:

“The relationship between illegal immigrants and our nation’s health care system is one that cannot be overlooked. In 2006, the Census Bureau reported that there were 46.6 million people without health insurance of which about 9.5 million were not United States citizens…It’s clear that a bill that is silent on eligibility means a bill that includes illegal immigrants.”

To begin with, both the House and Senate health care bills explicitly state that health care benefits will only apply to legal U.S. residents. President Obama himself has said that undocumented immigrants should not be covered under a new health care plan.

Bachmann also criticizes House Democrats for voting against what she calls “a commonsense amendment that would have ensured that illegal immigrants are not covered.” However, that same amendment would have also given private insurance providers unprecedented access to sensitive income and identity information while curtailing all of the privacy and redress responsibilities that the Social Security Act requires of government agencies.


Bachmann doesn’t point out that 9.5 million of uninsured noncitizens that she cites includes both legal and undocumented immigrants. In general, all immigrants incur less health care costs and less expensive care than native-born Americans. Health care costs for the average immigrant ($1,797 per capita) are 55% lower than health care costs for the average U.S.-born person ($3,702 per capita). Ultimately, U.S. citizens make up the majority of those who are uninsured and that’s where the debate should focus.

Bachmann has repeatedly invoked “fear-mongering right-wing rhetoric” to block health care reform.

Andrea Christina Nill

Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress


  1. dana says

    @Andrea Nill: you are wrong. They will will not be asked if they are legal or illegal and therefore will be covered under the Health Insurance bill. Monies have been put aside in the Health Care Bill just for that purpose. It is common knowledge, I don’t know why you are not aware of it.

  2. dana says

    As a matter of fact, after this election (illegal immigration is at the forefront) I see the border being secured, a national e-verify. I also see birthright citizenship law being changed.

  3. pegw says

    Ms. Nill – Congress Woman Michelle Bachman knows that the Illegal Immigrants will all be legalized regardless of what they do here in America. Obamas plan for illegals to get insurance will be an automatic legalizing of every illegal so he can start collecting taxes & premiums from them. This is what this whole entire Healthcare bill is to tax the people for more money & so he can get more power over the American people. If this rationed, socialized, government run healtcare plan is so good then why are they not loosing their good health insurance & having to go on the government plan also. Why do our so called representatives feel they are so much better then the American people? Why do they not remember they work for us not we for them. When they leave office they get to keep getting paid by us & get to keep their insurance?
    You know this is wrong, & yet all of you liberals continue to support a man that has made the economy worse by spending more & more money. Money we do not have but borrow from China which is never going to get paid back because he keeps borrowing, & they are going to become more & more demanding of us. Then he goes to Copenhagen promising to give more of our money to these third world countries to help them defeat Global Warming or Climate Change. Any money given these third world money for global warming is going to be used for food or clothes or other necessities & who could blame them. And I would not trust the UN with any of our money. I stopped trusting them since the food for oil & found out these people are nothing but thieves & no one is paying attention to the what the White House is doing behind our backs. The money he gave to a bunch of people to help them build solar panels. He had said something about giving money to Brazil to drill for oil, when we have oil here that needs to be drilled here in America. Just think about him giving money to other countries to drill for oil when that money could be used to pay back our debt & the Americans could save at the gas pump with our own oil.

  4. says

    Hi Pilar,

    Thanks for your comment. Dick is exactly right. I do support comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to legalization and see that as the best way to deal with our undocumented population and their health care coverage. They are not currently included in the health care bill whether we like it or not, and I’m only trying to point out that the health care opponents and anti-immigrant wingnuts who suggest that they are included are lying to further their conservative agendas. I think most progressives agree with both of those assessments.

    As for the term “illegal immigrant,” I only use it in quotations from other people. I stick to “undocumented immigrants” and prefer to steer clear of “illegal,” but I cannot put words (ie. “undocumented”) in other people’s mouths.

    Hope that clears things up. Let me know if you have any other concerns and I’d be happy to discuss them with you!


    • Jesse says

      Illegal would be the correct term. Undocumented and the rest of the words used to try to make these people seem more legitimate are just flat wrong. They broke the law to get here. That is illegal. They are not citizens. They are aliens. That makes them illegal aliens no matter how you try to spin it.

  5. says

    With 2010 right around the corner we have an opportunity to bring Bachmann home.

    I am a blogger and a constituent in the 6th and here are the current facts about the potential competition to Bachmann:

    1. Senator Tarryl Clark is WINNING the DFL endorsement race.
    2. Clark has been able to win elections in her conservative district.
    3. Senator Clark has worked the entire district listening to its residents even when she’s not running for office as part of her duties as Assistant Majority Leader.
    4. Elwyn Tinklenberg is a Blue Dog Democrat as evidenced by his ’08 endorsement and campaign literature.
    5. Elwyn Tinklenberg has chosen not to abide by the DFL endorsement.

    That being said, you can help any of these candidates with your pocket book:

    .-= Political Muse´s last blog ..The Situation In The 6th… UPDATE =-.

  6. says

    @Pilar Marrero, Pilar: I think you’ll find that this writer — Ms. Nill — and the LA Progressive support sweeping immigration reform that would give undocumented workers a quick path to legal residency and eventual citizenship.

    We do also support providing services now for workers who have been encouraged to come to our country, both on humanitarian grounds and financial ones.

    The author is commenting on an elected official — Rep. Michele Bachmann — who is playing the race card and the anti-immigrant card hard. Andrea is trying to bring this hatefulness to light.

    — Dick

  7. Pilar Marrero says

    And why shouldn´t immigrants with no papers have some basic coverage? If they are good to work our fields, our kitchens, take care of our kids, our older citizens, clean our homes and do many other jobs we may not even imagine, if they pay Social security taxes but get nothing in return, their kids will end up paying our social security, etc, why shouldn´t they be covered?
    If they are not covered, they´ll end up in the emergency room and cost more. Many families are mixed, and there are citizens, residents and those without status or ïllegal¨, like you call them.I`m very surprised (maybe Not) that a progressive website like yours uses the word Illegal and that you don`t have a clear vision of who this people are and why we should include them in the fabric of this society. Also the distinction between legal and illegal is a false one for most latinos because these are family members, brothers, sons and daughters that get pulled into these country due to the job magnet it´s had thru the years and the immigration system is so insufficient that they cannot do it legally.

  8. dana says

    No. Because Americans will have to buy their own or be penalized. Why should we also ensure that illegals have insurance. Our rates will be higher.

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