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Report says Obamacare recruiting illegal immigrants in California

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.
Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.Getty Images

It would seem President Obama owes Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., an apology. In 2009, Wilson apologized after shouting "You lie" when Obama said his signature health care law would not cover illegal immigrants. But according to a report posted Friday at Breitbart.com, California's state Obamacare exchange is recruiting illegal immigrants on its website.

The site features a page titled: "No temas si eres indocumentado/a y quieres inscribir a tu familia en un seguro médico."

Translation: "Fear not if you are undocumented and want to enroll your family in health insurance."

The site also says information shared with the exchange cannot be shared with immigration officials and, Joel B. Pollack said, "does not explicitly warn that illegal aliens are ineligible," even though the law says illegal immigrants can't get coverage.

"According to the laws and implementing regulations," the site explains, "the information provided by individuals for coverage can not be used for purposes other than ensuring the efficient functioning of the insurance market (Covered California) or administration of the program, or to verify certain eligibility determinations including verification of the immigration status of these people."

On Thursday, Bloomberg said Latinos have been slow to sign up for Obamacare partly out of fear that undocumented relatives might be deported.

Activists also said glitches on the exchange website and a lack of Spanish-speaking counselors on its telephone banks aren’t helping, Bloomberg added.

As a result, only 20 percent of those enrolled through Dec. 31 are Hispanic.

"That flies in the face of the fact that almost half of California’s Latinos are eligible for subsidies under Obamacare," Bloomberg reported.

Covered California spokesman Santiago Lucero said the exchange has recently secured a $155 million federal grant, and plans to add 350 representatives, including bilingual workers, by the end of March.

A million mailers have also been sent to homes, with the vast majority going to Spanish-speaking families, Lucero added.

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