American taxpayers will get hit with an added tax bill of $10 billion to $23 billion if 2020 Democratic presidential candidates get their way and provide subsidized Obamacare-style health insurance to illegal immigrants, according to a new study.
The Center for Immigration Studies said that it would cost an estimated $4,600 for each of the illegals who do not now have insurance. The immigration reform advocacy group estimated that there are 4.9 million illegal immigrants eligible for the taxpayer-subsidized insurance.
In a separate report also issued today, the group said that immigrants cost far more than native citizens in Medicaid programs. “The average immigrant family created $2,796 in Medicaid costs, compared to $1,983 for the average native family,” said the report.
Remarkably, the costs are even higher for Hispanic immigrant families: $4,411.
Among the promises made by Democrats including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, the pledge to extend healthcare insurance to illegal immigrants is one of the most controversial.
The report from Steven Camarota, research director at CIS, and associates Karen Zeigler and Jason Richwine, is the first to put a price tag on the promise and called it a “significant burden” on taxpayers.
Currently, illegal immigrants are not allowed to participate in the healthcare exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act and cannot receive the Advanced Premium Tax Credit, the subsidies paid to insurance companies to help low-income people afford coverage, said their report.
The key findings:
- There are 4.9 million uninsured illegal immigrants with incomes low enough (less than 400% of the poverty threshold) to qualify for subsidies under the ACA.
- Given their age and income, the average cost of providing an ACA subsidy for an illegal immigrant would be about $4,600 each year.
- The total cost of providing ACA subsidies to illegal immigrants could be $22.6 billion annually if they all enrolled. The total cost, assuming a more realistic enrollment rate, is $10.4 billion per year.
- While the overall cost would be large, the average subsidy illegal immigrants would receive is still smaller than the average ACA subsidy. This is primarily because illegal immigrants are a relatively young population.
It ended with a warning that if illegals end up getting taxpayer subsidized healthcare, the next likely group to get it will be temporary workers.
“If there is significant political pressure to provide coverage to people in the country illegally, it seems almost certain that over time pressure will grow to provide healthcare to low-wage guest workers and other “temporary” immigrants as well. The high cost of providing healthcare to less-educated workers who earn modest wages is a reminder that tolerating illegal immigration or allowing such workers into the country legally is likely to create a significant burden for taxpayers,” said the Camarota, Zeigler, and Richwine report.
Author: Paul Bedard
Source: Washington Examiner: 2020 Democrats’ health plan for illegal immigrants to cost $23 billion, $4,600 each