Georgia Republicans: Still wrong on S-CHIP

By now, we should all be aware of what the acronym “S-CHIP” stands for; the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. This popular program, which was started under President Bill Clinton’s administration, provided health insurance to 6.6 million American children in the year 2006 and since its inception in 1997, the number of uninsured low-income children in the U.S. has decreased by one-third [Source: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families].

In Georgia, S-CHIP is the parent program of the popular PeachCare for Kids which (as of October 2007) has an enrollment of 274,440 [Source: Georgia Department of Community Health]. That is 274,440 Georgia children who are able to get the access to health care that they need in order to grow up healthy in this state.

PeachCare and S-CHIP are both good programs, and they are not (as Republicans would say) “entitlement programs.” No one is “entitled” to enroll in PeachCare and S-CHIP. There are standards, and eligibility is determined based on families’ income.

Unforunately, beginning in 2007, the Georgia Republican members of Congress have voted against re-authorizing this important program a whopping six times.

When the first S-CHIP bill came to the floor of the U.S. House & Senate, Georgia Republicans voted against it [Source: House Roll Call 906; Senate Vote 307]. When President Bush vetoed H.R. 976 and the House voted to override the President’s veto, once again, Georgia Republicans voted against it [Source: House Roll Call 982]. When the second S-CHIP bill came to the floor of the U.S. House & Senate, Georgia Republicans again voted against it [Source: House Roll Call 1009; Senate Vote 403]. Again, Bush vetoed it and again Georgia House Republicans voted against the veto override [Source: 2008 House Roll Call 22].

Even here in Georgia, an effort was made by the Speaker of the House to reduce the eligibility for PeachCare. Lucky for the state’s children, the Georgia Senate had the good sense to put a stop to Glenn Richardson’s foolishness.

As it concerns PeachCare and S-CHIP, a pattern of behavior has emerged among the Republicans. Publicly, Republicans say they’re for PeachCare and S-CHIP, but when it’s time for decisions to be made and votes to be cast, they’re against PeachCare and S-CHIP. Or even worse, they try to cut the program. Case in point, Saxby Chambliss told the Chattanooga Times Free-Press that he “supported it [S-CHIP] 10 years ago when we put it in place” and that he stills supports it, but when the time came to support re-authorization of the program, Sen. Chambliss voted against it…twice [Source: 1/5/2007 Chattanooga Times-Free Press article “Chambliss makes stop in Dalton”].

I don’t know if there is some deep-seated animosity towards this program. But what I do know is that the Republicans have consistently come down on the wrong side of this issue, and what I also know is that there is nothing right about failing to re-authorize this important program.

On this issue, the Republicans are as wrong as wrong can be.

11 comments

  1. Rogue109 says:

    There is no Constitutional authority for the Federal Government to be providing health insurance to children. [Source: The Constitution of the United States of America].

  2. Harry says:

    This is one more entitlement we can’t afford…unless you have a way to pay off the national debt and all those unfunded federal pensions, SS & medicare without causing mega-inflation. By lowering interest rates they’re already disincentivizing savings, which leads to more dependency and inflation. Bring it on.

  3. I think it’s the “expansion” they are objecting too. Last time I looked at the house version of the bill it was $70 Billion for 6.6 million children for 5 years. That is $2121 per child. Filling out an online form for private insurance and getting 62 quotes for a “14 year old, pregnant, smoker, diabetic, with heart problems netted 62 quotes which averaged HALF of that price.

    Point is when the government seems to get involved the costs tend to sky-rocket. Since we are talking multiple states it probably can’t be done but I would be interested to see what kind of quote the Fed would get from private companies to provide health care for low income families.

  4. Dave says:

    They are entitlement or welfare, whatever you want to call it. Isn’t my job or your job to pay for any kid that isn’t our own. Period. Everybody wants something for nothing. Want to be a sorry assed parent? No prob ! We’ll stick somebody else with Junior’s health care bill.

  5. Jason Pye says:

    More than half of the kids that would have been covered under this expansion already have private health insurance. As more people get on government healthcare it only drives up the cost for individuals with private healthcare.

  6. Rogue109 says:

    VictoratGaImproper:

    Do you have a website that details the costs to the Republic if there is a NBC attack on a major city?

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