HALL SUPPORTS BIPARTISAN SOLUTION TO EXPAND CHILDREN'S HEALTH CARE
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX/4th) voted today to protect the integrity of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) - a vote to help children in low-income families who need health insurance and to exclude non-citizens and those adults for which the program was not designed. Hall voted to sustain the President's veto and send SCHIP back to Congress for reconsideration. The vote was 273 - 156, less than the two-thirds vote needed to override.
According to state budget projections, thirteen states will spend more than 44 percent of their SCHIP funds in 2008 on people other than children. Michigan tops the list with 71.6 percent of its SCHIP money earmarked for adults who have no kids. In addition, New York and New Jersey cover children in homes earning 400 and 350 percent, respectively, of the Federal poverty level.
"This bill would have continued coverage to these states - far more than is available to Texas and other states - and far more than the program can sustain," Hall said. "The President's veto gave us the opportunity to correct these inequities and go back to the drawing board to produce a bill that protects all children in need."
"To say that those opposed to the proposed bill do not support children is ludicrous," Hall said. "SCHIP is one of the most important Federal programs offered to our low-income families and should be protected. We need to extend the program, improve the program, and give Congress time to craft a bipartisan bill that adheres to the original goal."
"We need a policy solution to SCHIP - not political posturing," Hall said. "We should not compromise children's health care in order to advance a political agenda. We need to get back to work."