August 2, 2007
Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed a bill to renew coverage for the 6.6 million children currently in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and enroll 3.2 million more:
“The Senate did the right thing today in fulfilling our promise to improve the lives of millions of American children, and we did it the right way – in a bipartisan fashion. By renewing and enhancing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), we are combining the best of public and private health coverage to keep low-income kids covered and enroll millions more.
“Ten years after Congress created the program, we have reduced the number of low-income, uninsured children by one-third, covering more than 10 million kids. Today, while 6.6 million children have health care thanks to this outstanding program, the cost of quality health care is still prohibitive for too many. We urge the President – who ran on the promise to enroll millions of more children in CHIP – to keep his word rather than deny kids in working families the doctor visits and medicines they need when they’re sick and the checkups they need to stay well.”
THE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM REAUTHORIZATION ACT PROTECTS HEALTH CARE FOR KIDS
Today, a bipartisan Senate coalition offered legislation to reauthorize a vital children’s health insurance program, known as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With their commitment to ensure children in need have the opportunity to receive the care they deserve, Democrats worked with GOP Senators in crafting a bi-partisan bill that covers 3 million children who are currently uninsured and does so in a fiscally responsible manner.
THE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM: RHETORIC v. REALITY
A number of groups have begun to spin fictions about the bi-partisan Senate Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization bill. Below are the top misleading arguments being made against the Senate bill and the corresponding facts.
RHETORIC: The Senate Children’s Health Insurance Plan is the First Step to Government Health Care.
REALITY: The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a public-private partnership that focuses on providing low-income children with health care coverage. The Senate measure in fact encourages public and private solutions to cover children.
RHETORIC: The Children’s Health Insurance Program Wastes Money on Adults.
REALITY: The bi-partisan Senate measure curbs adult coverage in three key ways. First, the bill prohibits new waivers for parents and preserves the bar on new waivers for childless adults. Second, the bill calls on states covering childless adults to transition them out of the Children’s Health Insurance Program within two years. Third, federal funding for coverage of low-income parents in states with existing waivers will be reduced after a three to four year period.
RHETORIC: The Senate Bill Amounts to a Middle Class Tax Increase.
REALITY: The Senate bill provides health insurance coverage for an additional 3.2 million low-income children by implementing a modest increase in the excise tax on tobacco products. In addition to an overwhelming majority of Americans supporting an increase in tobacco taxes to pay for children’s health care, higher tobacco taxes will result fewer smokers, particularly among teens.
RHETORIC: The Senate Bill Will Provide Coverage for Families Earning $80,000 and Higher.
REALITY: The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a federal-state partnership where states make the determination as to eligibility levels. Under the Senate bill, any state wishing to offer new coverage for children in families above 300 percent of the Federal poverty level will receive lower matching funds for that coverage.