|ERICA WERNER, Associated Press|
The question is how much access to taxpayer-subsidized care should be granted to immigrants who were here illegally and are embarking on a path to citizenship. Answering it has pulled the noxious politics around President
<p> That's threatening fragile alliances between Republicans and Democrats, already causing one key House member, GOP Rep.
"What may be the story at the end of this session is that Obamacare killed immigration reform," Labrador said before a last-gasp effort failed this week to resolve the health care dispute in a way he could accept. Now the seven other members of the House group are moving forward without Labrador, who said their proposal doesn't go far enough to ensure that immigrants must pay for all their own health care costs without leaving taxpayers on the hook for any of it.
Health care and immigrants was a hot-button issue even before Republican Rep.
"We cannot be providing Obamacare subsidies to people who have been violating our immigration laws," said Sen.
The approach is opposed by immigrant advocates who pushed for provisional legal immigrants to be allowed government-subsidized care, arguing that it makes sense for public health and the economy. But the idea was opposed by Republicans, and even Democratic authors of the
"We definitely were pushing from the start, and basically we tried to remind the Democrats that this was sort of an unfulfilled promise from the Affordable Care Act, when undocumented immigrants were excluded," said
As the House immigration group moves forward trying to unveil a bill, it may include placeholder language on health coverage similar to what's in the
So where does that leave newly legalized immigrants in provisional status with no access to publicly funded care?