Dems to tie immigration reform to health care vote

Immigration proponents in the House have agreed to allow stricter language that would prevent illegals from accessing health care services as long as the president promises to bring up the issue of immigration reform later this year.

Christina Bellantoni of TPM blog reports:

Lawmakers who want to extend health coverage to illegal immigrants will not block the passage of the final health care reform bill so long as the White House offers a substantive promise to start pushing comprehensive immigration legislation this year.

Democrats who want a comprehensive bill that reforms immigration law but also offers a pathway to citizenship have threatened to vote against health care if illegals aren't included in the new system, making immigration one of the sticking points as Democratic leaders negotiate the final details.

Democratic leadership aides believe that a firm White House promise of a comprehensive immigration bill will be enough to quell any House dissent.

TPMDC sources have been telling us that members won't admit it publicly but they are ready to concede on immigration in the health care bill. Political aides in the White House have told key parties in Congress that President Obama wants to see a bill this year, and negotiations are under way for how it would be written.

If Obama agrees to this deal, he and the Democrats will lose the working class vote in several key states. Those folks take a very dim view of illegals and proposing a general amnesty during the height of a recession is not what they want to hear.

Just one more indication how desperate the Democrats are to get health care reform passed.