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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said her department has its “hands full” with the implementation of the healthcare law and cannot prepare for any immigration reform bill’s impact on health insurance costs.
During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Friday, Texas Republican Rep. Kenny Marchant asked Sebelius, “Has HHS made any preparation for how to meet the added cost of providing care for the potential 10 or 12 million people that might gain permanent resident status under any kind of an immigration bill?”
In response, Sebelius said, “Sir, we don’t do anything about what the Congress may or may not do in the future. No sir.”
In an attempt to clarify Sebelius’ position, Marchant said, “So, there’s been no preparation made whatsoever for that large group of people.”
Sebelius, the former governor of Kansas, said, “We are working with the law as it is right now and, believe me, have our hands full to try and make sure that the law of the land is carried out.”
A biparistan group of senators are preparing to introduce immigration reform legislation. Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said the legislation is likely to be introduced next Tuesday.