Romney health care law helps illegal immigrants on insurance, LA Times

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With the Republican presidential debate heating up, frontrunners Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Rick Perry are being scrutinized more than ever before, and Mitt Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts has been widely criticized, with the LA Times printing a story Oct. 24 detailing how the plan would help illegal immigrants providing them affordable health insurance.

Illegal immigration is a big issue in the Republican Party. In the story out today, the LA Times said then-governor Romney signed the law into effect in Massachusetts in 2006. It provides for the health care of illegal immigrants if they don’t have insurance. Perry has openly criticized the health care policy, and Romney’s camp has responded by criticizing Perry’s law in Texas that grants in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants.

In a mid-October debate, Rick Perry again, after several times previously, brought up the fact that Romney employed illegal immigrants to care for his lawn many years ago. Romney again defended his actions by saying he hired a service that was legitimate and the service chose to employ illegal immigrants.

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The LA Times said all questions about the Massachusetts health care law were directed to Tim Murphy, Massachusetts health and human services director under Romney. Murphy said the law was never intended to cover the health care costs of illegal immigrants.

"Our view when we signed the law was that all benefits would be for people in the commonwealth who were here legally," Murphy is quoted as saying in the LA Times story. He said the rules that were written to cover the health care costs of illegal immigrants were written after Romney left the governor's office in 2007.

"Uninsured, poor immigrants can walk into a health clinic or hospital in the state and get publicly subsidized care at virtually no cost to them, regardless of their immigration status," wrote LA Times reporter Noam N. Levey.

The LA Times indicated in their story that there was an understanding by those involved that those in the country illegally would benefit from the law when it was written, while Romney was in office.

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