Pelosi Says Immigration Bill Should Not Include Access to Medicaid

Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:46pm

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday morning wanted to clear up a couple of things about Democratic leadership’s position on an immigration overhaul.

“No access to subsidies in the Affordable Care Act,” the California Democrat said of what rights undocumented immigrants would have in a comprehensive overhaul bill her party would support. “No access to Medicaid. … That has always been our position.”

A bipartisan group of House members are working to finalize sweeping draft legislation that could stand in for the Senate’s own remedy to the nation’s broken immigration system.

Speculation this week, however, has centered on whether the discussions have been derailed by disagreement over what access undocumented immigrants would have to taxpayer-funded health programs and programs offered through the 2010 health care law that the House GOP has voted to repeal 38 times since 2011.

At her press briefing, Pelosi emphasized that she had not seen a draft yet and that there were other issues causing headaches at the negotiation table.

But on subsidies and Medicaid, she said, she wants to squash any preconceptions in the press that this was perhaps the major holdup.

Whether this bipartisan group can deliver a bill will determine whether the House decides to take up whatever bill the Senate passes in the months ahead — or, if GOP leadership decides to pursue a piecemeal approach to immigration changes, a track sought by House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va.