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Children's Health And Medicare Protection Act of 2007 --Continued--

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

CHILDREN'S HEALTH AND MEDICARE PROTECTION ACT OF 2007--Continued -- (House of Representatives - August 01, 2007)


Mr. MATHESON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

My wife and I are very fortunate. We have two wonderful little boys. Their names are William and Harris, and they're really fortunate because they have access to health care because, as a Congressman, I have access to the Federal employee health insurance program. And that's how it is for all of us as Members of Congress. See, we have health insurance and our kids have health insurance.

This debate isn't about us, and as we get caught up in these discussions, this rhetoric about process and concerns about the way this bill has come to the floor, I think we're losing sight about who this issue is really about because we've got 11 million kids in this country who are involved in households where they make enough money they don't qualify for Medicare. How do we get them access to health care?

The CHIP program's done a great job in the past 10 years, and we've got about 6 million of them covered, but there are 5 million kids out there who still aren't.

That's what this debate is about, and I think when you have something sometimes you take it for granted, and all of us take for granted the fact that we have health insurance.

Now, let me tell you why I don't take this for granted because, in my household, my wife happens to be a pediatrician, and she works at a children's hospital in Salt Lake City. She tells me the stories about kids who come into that hospital who have not had access to preventive care, who have health problems that escalated into far more serious circumstances because they didn't have access to health care, and I hear those stories all the time.

That's what we ought to be focused on in this debate. That's what this debate is about. Vote for this bill. Let's do the right thing for our country's children.


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