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Public Statements

Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Louisiana.

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be a lot of self-congratulations, at least on one side of this Chamber. Let me congratulate some who have spoken here for what appears to this Member to be a pretty breath-taking lack of consistency. My good friend from Fremont Hills has pointed the finger to this side and said we Republicans, we don't care about children.

I would remind my chairman, Mr. Speaker, that the children's health program was created by a Republican majority. The gentleman points out that this bill today is funded, as the gentleman is nodding, as that bill was funded. And I would say, Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago and 2 days on July 30, rollcall vote no. 345, on this floor, on the conference report creating the Children's Health Insurance Program, I was proud to be one of 346 ``aye'' votes. There were 85 ``no'' votes. The gentleman from California was a ``no'' vote. The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee was a ``no'' vote. I find that a bit interesting. Because, today, the gentleman from California talks about this being the identical bill. This is not the identical bill.

As my friend from Louisiana has said, we would love to reauthorize the program for needy children. But should we allow a family in New York making $80,000 a year free health care, free to them, but paid for by 15,000 constituents I am privileged to represent who would have their vision care or dental benefits or oxygen services cut, and the savings then given to that couple making $80,000 in New York City?

One-half of the new enrollees under the majority's bill, those new enrollees would be people who already have health insurance coverage. There is, as the gentleman pointed out, a brand new, per capita tax on every health plan in America that raises $2 billion. There are rifle-shot reimbursements for hospitals in order, presumably, to sway undecided Members from Michigan and New York and Tennessee.

And can anyone really defend the children's health program for childless adults, childless adults now being able to qualify for the children's health insurance program?

Needy children, absolutely. Well-to-do adults, I suggest no, certainly not at the expense of cuts to senior citizens. We can do better. I urge a ``no'' vote.


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