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- 05-09-2012, 11:25 AM #1
Catania: illegal immigrant health care deal closer in Washington D.C.
Catania: illegal immigrant health care deal closer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The District of Columbia councilman at the center of the debate with the mayor's office over funding health benefits for illegal immigrants says the two sides are closer to reaching an agreement.
Last week, a council panel set aside $20.5 million to continue offering illegal immigrants free health insurance, a plan that drew immediate criticism from Mayor Vincent Gray's office.
Councilman David Catania tells The Washington Examiner (Catania: Illegal immigrant health care compromise near | Washington Examiner) that the two sides have made a lot of progress.
Catania has said the money for the program comes from savings found elsewhere in the budget.
The mayor's office, however, contends that the plan would just create holes in other places.
source: Catania: illegal immigrant health care deal closer | WJLA.com
Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 05-09-2012 at 11:59 AM.U.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
- 05-09-2012, 11:27 AM #2
RELATED NATIONAL CAPITOL SANCTUARY CITY News ..
Catania: Illegal immigrant health care compromise near
A D.C. councilman's plan to continue city funding for illegal immigrants prompted a fiery response from the mayor's office last week, but on Tuesday the councilman said negotiations had moved the two sides closer to a deal.
"I think we've made a lot of progress," at-large Councilman David Catania told The Washington Examiner. "As long as the parties engage in good faith and work together, I think we can find a solution."
Scrambling to close a budget shortfall, Gray in March proposed slashing funding for the DC Healthcare Alliance, a city-run health insurance program that has evolved into a lifeline for undocumented workers.
But last week, Catania, who chairs the council's Health Committee, unveiled a plan that would boost the program's coffers because of cost savings Catania found elsewhere in the budget.
Catania's strategy drew immediate fire from Gray's office.
"We are seriously worried that the Catania plan takes critical money from one program and shuffles it to another program," mayoral spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said Friday, one day after Catania sprung his announcement. "He hasn't found any new money. He's just creating holes in other places."
In an internal memorandum obtained by The Examiner, mayoral aides said the proposal "selectively grabs 'savings' from line items in the Department of Health Care Finance's budget."
But Gray's argument wasn't resonating with every lawmaker.
"I trust [Catania] that he was able to find money that could be used," Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh, a member of the health panel, said Tuesday.
The first big win for Catania to notch, though, would be approval from Natwar Gandhi, the District's chief financial officer, who must certify the plan as fiscally balanced for it to move forward.
Although the two men have long clashed, Gandhi, Catania and their aides were having positive discussions about the councilman's proposal, officials said.
Catania said he didn't doubt Gray's efforts to provide health care.
"We have no philosophical differences here," Catania said. "The matter is finding the money."
source: Catania: Illegal immigrant health care compromise near | Washington ExaminerU.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!