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Obama Ally: Joe Wilson Won Faceoff with President

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democracy1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:37 PM
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Obama Ally: Joe Wilson Won Faceoff with President
For the third day in a row, President Obama came under fire from a Chicago Democrat who was the first Latino member of Congress to endorse him for president.

My colleagues, ABC News' Teddy Davis,and Elizabeth Gorman have more:

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., hammered President Obama on Wednesday for announcing over the weekend that he would not only block health care subsidies from flowing to undocumented workers, he would also block them from using their own money to purchase health coverage through the proposed health insurance exchange.

The exchange, as envisioned by the president, is a type of marketplace which will use group purchasing power to make insurance affordable for small businesses and uninsured individuals. Simply using the exchange to purchase a health plan does not entail receiving a taxpayer-funded subsidy.

Referring to Wilson's accusation that Obama lied during last week's speech to Congress, Gutierrez said: "The president didn't lie because I and others were part of a conversation that denied access (to government subsidies) to undocumented immigrants. But then he went one step further."

"Couldn't they call around?" he added, referring to the president's advisers. "No, they made a decision over the weekend. They said: Rep. Wilson? You're wrong but because you're wrong, we're going to go even further."

Gutierrez worries that Obama's decision to modify his health care plan in the face of conservative criticism will make it harder for undocumented workers to spend their own money to buy health insurance.

This, in turn, will make them more reliant on expensive emergency room care, the costs of which are eventually shifted to the government or to those with private insurance in the form of inflated prices.

Of the 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States, an estimated 5 million currently have health insurance and an estimated 7 million are uninsured.

Under President Obama's plan, health policies will still be sold to individuals outside of the exchange. But the whole idea behind the exchange is to create the kind of widespread risk sharing necessary for making insurance affordable.

As we reported earlier this week, Gutierrez first spoke out on this issue in Spanish on Monday during a panel discussion sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. On Tuesday, he continued his criticism in an interview he gave to the Los Angeles Times.

Wednesday's remarks were in English and were made on a conference call with reporters sponsored by America's Voice, a progressive group which advocates for comprehensive immigration reform.

Gutierrez is not committing at this point to vote against health-care reform when it reaches the floor of the House of Representatives.

Nevertheless, he finds it difficult to hide his disappointment in a president whom he worked to elect.

Referring to the Obama administration, Gutierrez added: "They said to us: 'we want to bring these people out of the shadows' and then we create public policy that pushes them further into the dark."

"Why does hatred always have to win? Why do the politics of bigotry always have to win" he added.
been saying it for quite sometime now,No fight whatsoever in this WH
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:53 PM
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1. Baucus said this, but when did Pres. Obama say this? nt
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:54 PM
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2. He didn't, that I'm aware of. nt
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