Perry for President - Mr. Romney's Attack Ignores His Record of Encouraging Illegal Immigration

As Mitt Romney continues his attack against illegal immigration, he avoids explaining his record of twice approving free health care for illegal immigrants in Massachusetts -- benefits above and beyond what federal law requires and what most states provide.

"Mitt Romney rails against magnets that encourage illegal immigration, but the magnetic pull of his free health care for illegal immigrants made Massachusetts an attractive destination," said Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan. 

Rules adopted by the Romney administration on May 1, 2004, for the state's "Free Care" health care program defined eligibility as residency in Massachusetts with no requirement for citizenship. The rules clearly state "a Hospital or Community Health Center shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, citizenship... in its policies, or in its application of policies, concerning the acquisition and verification of financial information, pre-admission or pretreatment deposits, payment plans, deferred or rejected admissions, or eligibility for Free Care." [1]

The "health care albatross" known as Romneycare, signed into law April 12, 2006, overhauled the Massachusetts health care system, and a recent investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed, "There was broad understanding when Romney signed it that at least some people who would benefit would be in the country illegally." [2, 3]

In fact, eight days before Romneycare was signed into law, NPR reported on April 4, 2006, "The people that wrote the bill assume that there will always be some who fall through the cracks, you know, the recent arrivals or people who don't file taxes, undocumented immigrants and so on. And for them, the states Free Care Pool will pay." [4]

Romneycare, which President Obama's health care takeover was modeled after, killed 18,000 jobs in Massachusetts last year and resulted in $8 billion in additional cost to taxpayers, including almost $4 billion in federal funding, a cost spread across American taxpayers in all 50 states. [5, 6]

The L.A. Times also reported John McDonough, a former consumer advocate who worked extensively on the healthcare effort in Massachusetts, said: "There is no question that lots of different kinds of people, including undocumented immigrants, obtain medically necessary services as result of this program." [3]


[1] 114.6 CMR: Division Of Health Care Finance And Policy, 5/1/04,

[2] "Mitt Romney may be haunted by Massachusetts health care costs," Politico, 10/26/11,

[3] "Gov. Romney OKd healthcare for illegal immigrants." Los Angeles Times, 10/23/11,,0,6849099.story

[4] "Massachusetts Law Requires Health Insurance for All," NPR, 4/4/06, 

[5] "The High Price of Massachusetts Health Care Reform," The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, June 2011,

[6] "The Economic Effects of Massachusetts Health Care Reform," The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, Sept. 2011,