Thursday, October 05, 2017

Do Kids Really Need Healthcare? Just Ask A Republican


To put it mildly, the very Republican Orlando Sentinel has been very unfriendly to Alan Grayson. They've consistently spread lies and innuendo about him and done all they could to derail his progressive agenda. But-- lo and behold!-- yesterday they published a Grayson OpEd calling on Congress to revive the Children's Health Insurance Program. It was a combination of Paul Ryan's and Kevin McCarthy's incompetence and Republican indifference to healthcare that killed the CHIP program this weekend. "The Children’s Health Insurance Program passed away at midnight Saturday," wrote Grayson. "It was age 20. This is the eulogy."
CHIP provided health insurance to 9 million of the 75 million children in America. It cost $14 billion a year, which is one-fifteenth the cost of the recent Trump corporate tax-cut proposal.

My third vote in Congress, and my first speech on the floor of the House, was on a bill to extend CHIP to 4 million more children. It passed. I knew that about 20,000 of those children lived in my congressional district. They would never know it, and for sure, they would never thank me, but I helped to save some of their lives.

Fifty thousand children die in America each year, more than half of those before their first birthdays. A Harvard study that I cited in the House says that someone who is uninsured is 40 percent more likely to die than someone who is insured. Do the algebra, and you’ll find that the expansion of CHIP for which I voted “yea” saves about 2,500 children each year-- including about a dozen children in what was my district.

How can we justify providing health care to every American, rich or poor, who reaches the age of 65, but not to innocent children under the age of 18?

I have five children, so I’ve had more than my share of “Daddy, my stomach hurts” moments. I once had to skip a fundraiser for my campaign in order to take my daughter to the hospital. (Honestly, the hosts have never forgiven me for that.) But every time I had to take a child to the doctor, I realized that it was so much worse for the child than for me. A child who feels bad and is too young to understand why is so, so vulnerable.

I knew House members who sincerely believed that if the parents don’t have the money to pay for their children’s health care, then the children should suffer. In fact, there must be at least 218 House members who felt that way on Saturday night, or the program would not have expired.

They are wrong. The sins of the parents do not descend on the children. Yes, those children have a mother and a father, who should take care of them if they can. But they are also the children of God.

Paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence, I hold this truth to be self-evident: We are endowed with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and for a child, that includes the right to the health care he or she needs to stay healthy and alive.

Bring back CHIP.

“Women and children first.” — The code of conduct followed during the evacuation of the Titanic (1912).
Yesterday, Kaiser Health News reported that Congress finally seems ready to take action on the Children's Health Insurance Program after funding lapsed Sept. 30. Until they do states are cut off from additional federal funding that helps lower- and middle-income families.
CHIP, which has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, helps lower- and middle-income families that otherwise earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid. Besides children, it covers 370,000 pregnant women a year. Like Medicaid, CHIP is traditionally paid for by state and federal funding, but the federal government covers most of the cost.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee posted its bill just before midnight Monday. It mirrors the Senate Finance plan by extending funding for CHIP for five years and gradually phasing down the 23 percentage point funding increase provided under Affordable Care Act over the next two years.

...If CHIP is so popular among Republicans and Democrats, why hasn't Congress renewed the program yet?

The funding renewal was not a priority among Republican leaders, who have spent most of this year trying to replace the Affordable Care Act and dramatically overhaul the Medicaid program. Some in Congress also thought the Sept. 30 deadline was squishy since states could extend their existing funds beyond that.
9 million children are covered, but the program was not a priority for Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy or Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden or senior members Joe Barton, Fred Upton, John Shimkus, Tim Murphy (well we know what he was doing), Michael Burgess or Marsha Blackburn?

We asked Katie Hill, whose district shares Antelope Valley with Kevin McCarthy's district (CA-23). After years as a rogue legislator in Sacramento, Knight has been a total rubber stamp for the establishment since being elected to Congress. He never strays from McCarthy on anything. This morning Katie told us that "The inaction on the part of Congressional Republicans is proof of where their loyalties lie. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have decided that cutting taxes for the wealthiest members of our society is a more pressing concern than ensuring that 9 million children keep their healthcare. I am disgusted and call on all Members of Congress to rectify this inexplicable oversight. When our government fails to prioritize the health of millions of children it shows that it is time to elect a new Congress."

Goal ThermometerRandy Bryce is as angry and frustrated about this as everyone else seems to be in the real world outside the Beltway bubble. I know when he replaces Paul Ryan in Congress and gets to Washington, he's going to be shaking stuff up from the inside-- bigly. "It's bad enough to try to take away health care from 23 million people with a concerted effort from Congress, but, it's especially horrendous to let our most vulnerable - the innocent children-- have their ability to remain healthy be stripped away due to inaction. In the middle of the night the same Republican Party that wants to reward billionaires instead of see us have health care let expire the CHIP program. I would ask how can they sleep but they obviously don't-- they pull crap like this instead."

Paul Clements is running for the southwest Michigan congressional seat currently occupied by one of the top members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "It's so sad, so wrong," he told us, "that the House has not extended the CHIP program. It supports health care for thousands of children in my district and many many more across Michigan. The health of these children needs to be a priority. There is no possible good reason to take health care away from them."

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At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add 9 million kids to the 30 million ayn rand... republicans want to kill to save money for their billionaire owners.

simple math. too hard for americans... but simple math.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it to republicans (their voters) to force kids to be born so they can be killed later for profit.


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