Blackburn to Democrat Leadership: Learn from Your SCHIP Mistakes
Negotiate an SCHIP Bill that Puts Low Income Children First
Congressman Marsha Blackburn today released a statement following House passage of H.R. 3963, legislation that will transform the popular State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) into an entitlement program resembling Medicaid, Medicare, and TennCare.
"Twenty-three days ago the President wisely vetoed H.R. 976, legislation that would have a disastrous effect on the American health care system and eviscerate the central tenants of the SCHIP foundation. That legislation took the wrong approach to reauthorizing SCHIP, and the House of Representatives correctly upheld the President's veto on October 18th. Yet the House Democrat Leadership failed to learn from its mistakes. Instead, it hastily produced H.R. 3963, disturbingly flawed legislation that provides fewer children health insurance, and spends more money than its previous version, H.R. 976."
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), H.R. 3963 continues to provide illegal immigrants the opportunity to access taxpayer-funded health benefits, spends $500 million more than H.R. 976, and provides 400,000 fewer children access to SCHIP benefits through 2012. Under H.R. 3963, CBO predicts that two million people will lose private health insurance; adults will constitute 10% of eligible SCHIP enrollees by 2012, and require a $70 billion tobacco tax increase over the next ten years.
"I support SCHIP, and look forward to honoring Congress's historic commitment to low-income children by reauthorizing the program established by Republicans in 1997. However, families in Tennessee's 7th District are not going to accept a bill that covers 400,000 fewer children while spending $500 million more than a bill already rejected by the President and Congress. I share their concerns, and refuse to support legislation that will crowd two million Americans out of the private healthcare market, and create a massive new entitlement program that sets the nation on a path to slow motion socialized medicine.
"House Democrats should learn from their mistakes, stop playing politics with our nation's children, and instead get serious about reauthorizing SCHIP for the benefit of our nation's low-income children."
Congressman Blackburn voted against H.R 3963, which passed the House on October 24t, 2007. For more information regarding the new legislation, please see the following Fact Sheet prepared by the Congressman's Washington office.