Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Health Care bill without verification is "a toothless tiger," Deal says

As the U.S. Senate takes up the debate on Health Care, Congressman Nathan Deal is urging the U.S. Senate to include verification of citizenship in their version of the bill.

"We have seen indications that the Senate wants to include language requiring U.S. citizenship," said Deal. "But without a requirement of verification, this is a toothless tiger."

A Republican candidate for governor, Deal was the author of a 2005 law which required verification of citizenship to receive Medicaid benefits. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that requiring enrollees to document their U.S. citizenship would reduce Medicaid spending by $220 million over five years and by $735 million over ten years.

Deal's action in 2005 has allowed millions of deserving U.S. citizens to keep their Medicaid benefits at a time when states are facing budget shortfalls because states have been given the tools to prevent millions of illegal aliens from using up limited public assistance resources.

"This is an important anti-fraud provision that has effectively and efficiently prevented millions of illegal aliens from fraudulently accessing taxpayer-funded benefits," Deal said

He proposed a verification amendment in the first House health care bill this year and it was voted down on a party line vote. A second attempt was not allowed by House leaders, including liberal Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"If we fail to include verification in the final legislation, we can thank Speaker Pelosi for giving illegal aliens taxpayer-funded health care," Deal said. "This is taking place at a time when Georgia and other states across the nation are forced to make dramatic cuts to their budgets. It is more important than ever to make sure that our limited public assistance dollars are focused exclusively on those who legally qualified to receive them."

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