Joe Klein: Joe Wilson 'Vile', Besides 'Why Shouldn't' Illegals Be Covered?

After plugging his latest column in a September 10 post on the magazine's Swampland blog, Time's Joe Klein (shown in file photo at right) pegged Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) as "vile" before defending taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants:

On this whole question of whether illegal immigrants will be included in  the plan, which caused the vile Congressman from South Carolina to shout "You lie" when the President said they wouldn't be covered. Why shouldn't they be? After all, when an illegal immigrant cuts his hand while chopping cabbage and goes to the emergency room, the rest of us pay for it. Isn't the point to expand the risk pool as much as possible, to lure the insurance companies into concessions and lower prices?

I know it 's not going to happen. Congress will never vote to subsidize the health care of those who arrived here illegally. But, given the fact that we're already subsidizing them through the back door, it does make sense, doesn't it?

Actually, Joe, most average Americans would say it makes sense to more vigorously enforce our immigration laws and to more strictly limit the social safety net to American citizens and foreign nationals who are legally in the United States.

What's more, Klein's emergency room illustration is also misleading. No one is arguing for denying emergency medical care to anyone who comes through the doors of an ER. The bigger issue would be a "public option" that doesn't require users to prove their citizenship or legal permanent resident status before receiving taxpayer-funded benefits.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.