After a presidential campaign stop earlier this week in Los Angeles, former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed the idea of providing medicare, government funded health insurance, to illegal immigrants.
Joe Biden is the current front runner in a crowded DNC primary field, and is polling twice that of his nearest competitor, Bernie Sanders, after a post-announcement support bump. Judging by the direction the current Democratic base is headed, this will likely not affect his standing among primary voters.
Frequently seen as the sensible moderate of the race, Biden is fighting his own record and moving further left to match the next generation of Democrats who more idolize people like Sanders and AOC over traditional leaders like Barack Obama. He has gone on record to say Obamacare was a stepping stone for further government intervention in healthcare, and spent much of the campaign trail criticizing his past statements, including his treatment of Anita Hill.
The reporter asked if he thought immigrants in this country illegally should be entitled to federal benefits “like Medicare, Medicaid.”
Biden responded by saying:
“Look, I think that anyone who is in a situation where they are in need of health care, regardless of whether they are documented or undocumented, we have an obligation to see that they are cared for. That’s why I think we need more clinics in this country…By the way a significant portion of undocumented folks in this country are there because they overstayed their visas. It’s not people breaking down gates coming across the border, so the biggest thing we got to do on this thing is tone down the rhetoric. We know why it’s happening. It’s to create fear and concern.”
If we are being honest, when a politician in a debate or interview skirts around a specific question by saying “I think anyone who…,” it’s just a way for them to endorse the idea without actually committing to the stance, giving the idea time to be tested by the public for their final approval. Biden continues by saying “we [the government] have an obligation to see that they are cared for,” even if they violated the laws in coming here.
He used this question as a springboard to discuss expanding the social safety net beyond just medicare and medicaid by using the word “obligation.” If we have an obligation to pay for someone’s healthcare, even if they are here illegally, there is no reason why we shouldn’t use the government to meet any and all other needs.
Like a seasoned politician, he slips in that republicans are trying to create “fear and concern” by not wanting to pay for the goods and services used by illegal immigrants, saying “it’s not people breaking down gates and coming across the border,” even though we are seeing decade high levels of border crossings and a new caravan almost monthly.
Categories: U.S. News