Government admits it does NOT know full extent of land grab
At least 40 million acres of US farmland, pastures and forests are owned by foreign investors, which officials warn ‘may have consequences for national security.’
A new watchdog report found that foreign ownership of US land – including buyers from adversarial nations like China, Russia and Iran – has increased by 40 percent since 2016, with some plots near sensitive military facilities.
As well as espionage concerns, there is growing alarm about the integrity of America’s food supply chains.
But the estimates could be the tip of the iceberg because the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which did the report, told DailyMail.com that US officials are not ‘reliably’ tracking data on land owners.
The new Congressional analysis has caused fury among Democrats and Republicans, who demanded the Biden Administration clamp down on purchases ‘from adversaries’ to shore up America’s defenses.
Democratic Senator Jon Tester said: ‘While we learn more about the specifics around this unfolding situation, it highlights the need for Congress to do more to protect American agricultural security and prevent our foreign adversaries from controlling our country’s food supply while also gaining access to land near sensitive military sites.’
Republican Representative Dan Newhouse also shared his outrage after GAO released its findings.
‘This report confirms one of our worst fears: that not only is the e United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unable to answer the question of who owns what land and where, but that there is no plan by the department to internally reverse this dangerous flaw that affects our supply chain and economy,’ Newhouse said.
‘Food security is national security, and we cannot allow foreign adversaries to influence our food supply while we stick our heads in the sand.’
The GAO’s findings revealed the USDA collects the required data on paper forms and noted the agency ‘does not share timely data on foreign investments in agricultural land collected under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978, as amended (AFIDA).’
AFIDA requires foreign persons acquiring or transferring agricultural land to report information about the transaction to USDA.
‘USDA also does not sufficiently verify and conduct quality reviews to track the accuracy and completeness of its collected data,’ the report reads.
‘Without improving its internal processes, USDA cannot report reliable information to Congress or the public about where and how much U.S. agricultural land is held by foreign persons.’
While 40 million acres only makes up a small amount of the 1.3 billion acres of private land in the US, the GAO report warned the data was sparse and unreliable.
For example, the GAO pointed out that Chinese billionaire Chen Tianqiao’s $85 million purchase of Oregon timberland is missing from government records.
Denver hospital at ‘critical point’ after illegal immigrants overwhelm health system
Denver‘s public healthcare system, Denver Health, is in “critical” condition as it continues to deal with a rise in patients not being able to pay their medical bills.
While Denver residents and those on Medicaid account for the vast majority of those receiving “uncompensated care,” officials have made it clear that the unprecedented rise in illegal immigrants arriving in the city has been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
According to the Denver Gazette, in 2023, $135 million in uncompensated care was reported, a $10 million increase over the year before. As the Daily Mail points out, $100 million of that bill was run up by residents of the city, and the total includes visits that will be covered by Medicaid.
Nonetheless, Denver Health CEO Dr. Donna Lynne lamented that the system was “at a critical, critical point,” and, “because our costs exceed our revenues, we are turning down patients every day, particularly in the area of mental health and substance abuse.”
“While I have tremendous compassion for what’s going on, it’s heartbreaking,” she added, “it’s going to break Denver Health.”Chief Government and Community Affairs Officer Dr. Steven Federico said that the jump was due to the growing number of illegal immigrants utilizing the system, noting that an estimated 8,000 had made 20,000 visits to the hospital.
Associate Director of Pediatrics Emergency Medicine Dr. Taylor McCormick explained that, by and large, “these patients don’t have medical insurance,” and thus, “Denver Health is eating the cost for many of these visits.”
“There’s going to be a point where the numbers make this very, very hard,” McCormick added. “We’re already past the breaking point, to a certain extent.”
Denver has taken in over 37,000 illegal immigrants since the crisis began, many of whom are being taken care of at the taxpayers’ expense.
NY should worry about Gavin Newsom’s funding health care for illegal migrants in California
California is now providing full health insurance, free, to all low-income undocumented immigrants.
Full scope Medi-Cal, called Medicaid in other states, covers primary and preventive care, specialists, prescription drugs and other services.
Previously, immigrants without legal status were eligible only for restricted scope Medi-Cal, which provided benefits for such things as emergency room visits and pregnancy-related care.
But effective January 1, 2024, all low-income California residents, regardless of immigration status, are eligible for the same taxpayer-funded, safety-net health insurance program on which 14 million Californians already rely.
Yes, you read that right.
One-third of the population of California lives in poverty, or close to it.
State lawmakers extended full health insurance to undocumented immigrants incrementally.
Beginning in 2016, full scope Medi-Cal benefits were granted to children up to age 19, regardless of immigration status, as long as they met the other eligibility criteria.
That was expanded to young adults through age 25 in 2020. Two years later, the policy was expanded again to include anyone age 50 or older.
And on January 1 of this year, the missing group, adults age 26 through 49, became entitled to exactly the same all-inclusive Medi-Cal benefits available to low-income citizens and legal residents of California.
State officials said the latest addition will add an estimated 700,000 people to the rolls and will cost an extra $3.1 billion per year.
In truth, no one has any idea how many people will be added to the rolls, or what it will cost.
Medi-Cal is an entitlement program. Everyone who meets the eligibility requirements is entitled to enroll in it, and then they’re entitled to have Medi-Cal cover the cost of whatever healthcare services they need.
The latest expansion of benefits was approved by the legislature in 2022 in Senate Bill 184, an omnibus budget “trailer” bill rushed through the legislature in a matter of days.
Trailer bills are a California budget gimmick that evades the usual committee process where policies can be more thoughtfully considered.
If lawmakers had taken the time to read the bill, this sentence might have jumped out at them: “The federal Medicaid program prohibits payment to a state for medical assistance furnished to an alien who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law.”
That means California will not receive federal matching funds to help pay for the extension of full scope Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented immigrants.
The cost of this new entitlement is on California taxpayers.