The Group of Eight Representatives working on an Immigration Bill have lost a member and are now a Gang of 7.
Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID) left the group yesterday after saying he disagreed with the other members’ views on health care for undocumented immigrants.
Republicans want to include a provision in the immigration bill that would make undocumented immigrants responsible for paying 100 percent of their medical costs, in full. This would affect current law.
Under current law, hospitals have to care for anyone who walks in, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. The person pays what he or she can and Medicaid pays the rest.
But the House Republicans want undocumented immigrants to pay completely on their own. The House Democrats agreed but they want to create a fund in which undocumented immigrants would contribute money to cover their health care costs.
Labrador disagreed with the idea of fund for undocumented immigrant health care and decided to walk out of the group.
Labrador is a tea party Hispanic who could have helped the passing of the bill in the House. He has strong ties with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). The House has a Republican majority. Losing Labrador hurts the chances of the group’s bill.
The following are the representatives left working on an immigration bill:
- Republican Representatives John Carter of Texas, Mario Diaz Balart of Florida and Sam Johnson of Texas.
- Democrat Representatives Xavier Becerra of California, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Zoe Lofgren of California and John Yarmuth of Kentucky.
Meanwhile, the Senate will begin voting on its immigration bill next week. Find more information about the Senate immigration reform bill below.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants