Dems Baucus, Conrad ready to give in to Wilson

Some Senate Democrats are essentially conceding the point the congressman yelled out Wednesday night

Published September 11, 2009 11:30PM (EDT)

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., was wrong when he accused President Obama of lying about whether illegal immigrants would be covered under the healthcare reform legislation now working through Congress. But little things like that haven't stopped Senate Democrats like Max Baucus and Kent Conrad from caving to the right before, so why change now?

House Republicans have been claiming that the House bill lacks provisions to ensure that illegal immigrants don't receive subsidies for coverage. That's actually not true -- but Baucus and Conrad now say they'll add the language the GOP has been demanding to the version of the legislation that they're working on.

There is one upside to the story, though. Originally, it appeared as if Baucus and Conrad wanted to keep illegal immigrants from participating in the planned insurance exchange, which would have had the effect of preventing them from buying any sort of individual coverage and creating a class of people who, legally, could not be insured.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Healthcare Reform Kent Conrad Max Baucus D-mont. U.s. House Of Representatives U.s. Senate