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Press Release - Romney Twice Approved Free Non-emergency Health Care for Illegal Immigrants

October 28, 2011

Romney's 2004 rules defined free benefits for illegals, 2006 Romneycare maintained them

Mitt Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor not only resulted on anemic job growth that ranked the state 47th nationally, but Romney twice approved free health care for illegal immigrants — benefits above and beyond what federal law requires and what most states provide.

"Mitt Romney approved free non-emergency health care for illegal immigrants in Massachusetts, and when he signed legislation mandating the purchase of health care, he made sure that illegal immigrants continued to be eligible for free health care," said Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan. "Mitt Romney's newfound criticism of illegal immigration magnets flies in the face of his providing free non-emergency health benefits to illegals."

Rules adopted by the Romney administration on May 1, 2004, for the state's "Free Care" health care program defined eligibility as residency in Massachusetts with no requirement for citizenship. The rules clearly state "a Hospital or Community Health Center shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, citizenship... in its policies, or in its application of policies, concerning the acquisition and verification of financial information, pre-admission or pretreatment deposits, payment plans, deferred or rejected admissions, or eligibility for Free Care." [1]

The "health care albatross" known as Romneycare, signed into law April 12, 2006, overhauled the Massachusetts health care system, and a recent investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed, "There was broad understanding when Romney signed it that at least some people who would benefit would be in the country illegally." [2, 3]

In fact, eight days before Romneycare was signed into law, NPR reported on April 4, 2006, "The people that wrote the bill assume that there will always be some who fall through the cracks, you know, the recent arrivals or people who don't file taxes, undocumented immigrants and so on. And for them, the states Free Care Pool will pay." [4]

Romneycare, which President Obama's health care takeover was modeled after, killed 18,000 jobs in Massachusetts last year and resulted in $8 billion in additional cost to taxpayers, including almost $4 billion in federal funding, a cost spread across American taxpayers in all 50 states. [5, 6]

The L.A. Times also reported John McDonough, a former consumer advocate who worked extensively on the healthcare effort in Massachusetts, said: "There is no question that lots of different kinds of people, including undocumented immigrants, obtain medically necessary services as result of this program." [3]


[1] 114.6 CMR: Division Of Health Care Finance And Policy, 5/1/04, http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dhcfp/g/regs/114_6_10.pdf

[2] "Mitt Romney may be haunted by Massachusetts health care costs," Politico, 10/26/11, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66957.html

[3] "Gov. Romney OKd healthcare for illegal immigrants." Los Angeles Times, 10/23/11, http://www.latimes.com/health/la-na-romney-healthcare-20111024,0,6849099...

[4] "Massachusetts Law Requires Health Insurance for All," NPR, 4/4/06, http://www.scribd.com/doc/70663966/Massachusetts-Law-Requires-Health-Ins...

[5] "The High Price of Massachusetts Health Care Reform," The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, June 2011, http://www.beaconhill.org/BHIStudies/HCR-2011/BHIMassHealthCareReform201...

[6] "The Economic Effects of Massachusetts Health Care Reform," The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, Sept. 2011, http://www.beaconhill.org/BHIStudies/HCR-2011/BHIMassHealthCareEcon2011-...

Rick Perry, Press Release - Romney Twice Approved Free Non-emergency Health Care for Illegal Immigrants Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/297686

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