SCHIP BILL PUTS U.S. ON PATH TOWARDS SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE
Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) today issued the following statement after voting against the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (H.R.3162):
"Today Congress took yet another step towards wasting the taxpayer dollar by expanding the State Children Heath Insurance Program (SCHIP), a targeted block grant program, into a large entitlement program. This bill extends health care coverage to families with incomes as high as 400 percent above the federal poverty line despite the fact that the majority of children in those families already are covered by private insurance. This particular legislation creates incentives for families to drop their private insurance coverage and forces the taxpayers to foot the bill.
"The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 2.1 million children currently covered by private insurance plans would now rely on an inefficient government-run health care system. This is compounded by a May 2007 CBO report that found up to 50 of 100 children enrolled in SCHIP previously had private insurance. Health spending is already one of the largest spending areas in the federal government, costing almost $700 billion in 2006 alone.
"In addition, two other troubling aspects of this legislation are proposals that allow coverage of adults and illegal immigrants. In Illinois alone, 45 percent of the individuals covered in the children's health insurance programs are adults. As for illegal immigrants, the bill repeals citizen documentation requirements virtually allowing states the discretion of handing out federal benefits to illegal aliens.
"While I support the reauthorization of SCHIP and believe that it is a worthy program, I could not in good conscience vote for this bill. While ensuring access to health care for all is crucial, I believe we can do better. I am committed to working in a bipartisan fashion to ensure quality, competition, and cost remain a part of the broader proposal of expanding access to health care."