LINDER OPPOSES MASSIVE "SCHIP" LEGISLATION
Today, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 3162, the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (SCHIP), by a vote of 225-204. Among those legislators who voted against the SCHIP legislation was Representative John Linder (R-GA) who spoke out against the bill on the House floor during the debate.
"House Democrats want to give the American people another version of Medicaid, government-run health care. And, in doing so, they're going to expand its coverage to include illegal immigrants and adults with no children living at home. They want to increase Federal spending by $50 billion, and more than double the Federal taxes on cigarettes to pay for their governmental dreams."
The SCHIP program was created in 1997 and was originally intended to insure those families whose income was low, but not low enough to qualify for Medicaid. Under the program, states were allotted a certain amount of Federal dollars and given the flexibility to operate the program and set eligibility levels. Since that time, many states have decided to expand SCHIP coverage to families whose household income is more than three times the federal poverty level, putting a serious strain on the program.
Linder explained that the bill could raise the maximum household income to $82,600 a year for a family of four, which is 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and that it takes millions of children covered under private insurance and will move them over to the government sponsored system. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that an additional 2.1 million children who are currently covered under private insurance will be moved to the SCHIP program. This has prompted House Members to recognize another motive behind the bill; it is the first step of this Congress towards a government-run health care system.
"This is a back-door, or a front-door, entrance to HillaryCare' national health care," Linder stated. The final bill adds millions to the SCHIP rolls, it eliminates the requirements that people who apply for services show proof of citizenship or nationality, and it does not provide any provision in which Congress can review the program on a regular basis, eliminating any kind of checks and balances.