"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the healthcare bill," the South Carolina Republican said in a statement issued shortly after the president's speech to a joint session of Congress ended. "While I disagree with the President's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility."
Reaction to Wilson's outburst came fast and furious. Republicans distanced themselves from the breach of protocol — Sen. John McCain of Arizona decried it as "totally disrespectful" adding, "there is no place for it in that setting — and House Democrats actually called for Wilson to be censored.
Efforts by Democrats to pillory Wilson for doing the same thing Town Hall protesters did around the nation during the August recess — speaking the truth as they see it to those in power — may backfire. Already, the nation's attention is turning to the actual issue Wilson raised — an accusation that billions of taxpayers' dollars will go to pay for health insurance coverage for undocumented workers, if the current reform proposals go through.
Supporters of so-called "Obamacare" point out that the measures being drafted all specifically forbid illegal aliens from gaining coverage. But conservatives say those stipulations are useless without the normal enforcement procedures which Democrats omitted.
"Obama is correct," Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, tells Newsmax. "The legislation states illegals won't get the affordability credits [to pay for their healthcare]. But Wilson's comment is correct in that the normal enforcement mechanism was excluded from the bill. I think that's the fundamental question."
Camarota's organization has estimated that due to the lack of enforcement provisions — which were specifically excluded from the legislation when it was being drafted — healthcare reform would benefit 6.6 million illegals at a cost of some $31 billion."
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