The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

May 1, 2013

Favoring Immigrants over Citizens

By BOB HARPER
FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

PINETOPS —  Should Immigrants ever be given more favorable treatment than those of us who are already U.S. citizens?  Apparently President Obama believes this should be the case when it comes to Obamacare. When it comes to the terms of the immigration reform bill and Obamacare almost 11 million illegals will be given a provisional legal status to live and work in this country.

This legal status means they will be classified as ‘not lawfully present’ under Obamacare. This group is not required under Obamacare to obtain health insurance nor are they eligible for Obamacare tax credits. Neither will employees who hire them be required to provide health insurance for them. The catch is the employers will enjoy a $3,000 savings by hiring these immigrants over hiring U.S. citizens.  With this new status for these immigrants the U.S. citizens take a back seat behind these ‘not lawfully present’ individuals.

Here’s how the whole thing works. Employers who don’t offer insurance face fines based on full-time staffing levels, regardless of whether the workers are immigrants or U.S. citizens. However, employers who offer insurance can face fines if the coverage costs workers more than 9.5 percent of their pay. This could be expensive for small companies. However if the insurance is too costly, the worker will be eligible for Obamacare.

    But, once the employee goes on Obamacare the employer will be charged, by the government, up to $3,000 per full-time worker who receives Obamacare subsidies. However the so called ‘legalized immigrants’ are not eligible for Obamacare, so their employers would not be fined for hiring them and not subsidizing their insurance. What it all boils down to is an employer is encouraged to hire provisionally legal immigrants over U.S. citizens because it saves the employer money with Obamacare.

    So we see that a combination of the immigration reform bill and Obamacare could cause the U.S. citizens a more difficult time of finding a job and in some cases actually cost them a job. How many jobs could this cost U.S. citizens? We really don’t know, but it’s been estimated it could go up to the millions.

    An example of this type of anti-U.S. citizen plan could be that an employer who employs maybe 30 or so non-high level skilled employees could replace these U.S. citizens with provisionally legal immigrants and save his company up to $90,000 a year by not having to provide the new hires (provisionally legal immigrants) with health coverage. This could be very attractive for a struggling company…and there are a lot of struggling companies now.

    Could there be a political motive behind all this? Well if it’s political, and most things that are political have a political motive behind them. The vast majority of the immigrants we’re talking about are Hispanic and because of our president’s immigration policies he received about 75 percent of the Hispanic vote in the last election and his political party would like to keep this voting bloc tied up and in their pocket. When they can wrap up about 11 million votes, to them it’s a no-brainer.

    No matter how many votes the president and his political party might expect from the Hispanics there is a looming giant of a problem that could cost them dearly in future votes. It still has to do with Obamacare, not as it affects Hispanics, but how it affects the rest of us. The problems with Obamacare have already started. The IRS has already issued regulations that show that the cheapest insurance plan under Obamacare will cost a family of five $20,000 per year by 2016.

    Low-income families have already seen their premium increase and they’ll increase a lot more in the near future. The president promised that Obamacare would reduce health care insurance by 14 percent to 20 percent, but instead it has jumped by percent. That means the average person pays around $400 a month out of their pocket.

    Obamacare also includes a number of mandates that increase the cost of healthcare insurance, such as birth control. This could be purchased locally for only $9 per month but when you run it through Obamacare the cost is multiplied many times. Only those individuals who make less than $15,302 per year or $31,155 for a family of four will be eligible for Medicaid to pay for Obamacare. So unless you are making $7.35 an hour or less you’ll probably be paying something for Obamacare.

    Efficiency is penalized with Obamacare. Why not? Our government is run so inefficiently that efficiency is looked down on. The states that operate the most efficiently run healthcare will face the steepest increases, from 65 percent to 100 percent. And people wonder why some states have opted out of implementing Obamacare.

    Beginning in 2014 families that do not purchase healthcare insurance will be fined either $2,085 or 2.5 percent of their income. What happened to freedom?  When citizens begin to fully realize what Obamacare is costing them, the president and his party may have to pay dearly.