What it did NOT say, which nobody realized until about a week later, is that patients were not required to show any ID. The bill as written allowed people to simply walk into a hospital and demand healthcare, whether they were american, illegal residents, or foreign tourists just dropping-in for a visit.
I don't understand this argument, and yeah I've heard the same thing on the airwaves. But the only conclusion I can come up with is that you and other conservatives don't want to allow illegal immigrants access to the emergency room if they need it. Or even worse, if I'm in a head on collision with a drunk driver and the paramedics weren't able to find my wallet in the wreckage, the hospital won't be able to verify my citizenship and therefore I don't get treatment.
Now it boggles the mind that anyone would actually argue that, but I've also come to realize that a lot of people are so angry about illegal immigration that they will go to any length to make life here as horrible as they can for them. It's not that I agree with illegal immigration either. We have national borders and crossing those borders illegally should be considered a criminal act. However, I'm also a humanitarian. Even native criminals get to have medical treatment. And, yes, they get to go to the emergency room. So, if you agree that crossing the border is a criminal act, then you should treat illegal immigrants the same way we treat other criminals.
And no medical treatment for foreign visitors who are here legally? Are you kidding me? If you're visiting Spain and have a heart attack, you'd rather be forced to endure an international trip back to the US to get treatment? That's beyond the pale.
If you want illegal immigration reform, we should wait until that is the actual item on the agenda. Health reform is about insurance reform. Illegal immigration reform, which is badly needed, will be taken up later. This is obviously an attempt to hijack the agenda by using people concerned about illegal immigration to undermine the work for health reform. I'd just recommend that you and Joe Wilson cool down and keep your eye on the ball. I just hope that when illegal immigration reform does happen that people like you will have enough decency to treat people here illegally humanely. And by humanity I just mean that tiny bit of positive respect that we give, or at least ought to give people, even our worst enemy. I don't see illegals as our enemy either, but as rather desperate criminals who are escaping the hell that Mexico has become. It is just like a thief who steals in order to feed his family. He is still a criminal and has broken the law. But to say that because he's a thief he doesn't deserve medical treatment is beyond the pale, in my opinion.