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'Compromise' SCHIP Deal Substitutes Ideology for Common Sense

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Office of Republican Whip Roy Blunt:

Later tonight, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a "compromise" SCHIP bill that weakens citizenship verification standards for illegal immigrants and uses budgetary gimmicks to capture new revenue -- all while increasing taxes and pushing people off private insurance and onto government-run health care. Here's just a sample of some of the more egregious elements of this bill:

Increases Taxpayer Liability for Illegal Immigrants

-- The bill allows illegal aliens to receive Medicaid by weakening

citizenship verification standards. Social Security Commissioner

Michael Astrue confirmed that the procedures outlined in the Senate

passed bill -- and included in the "compromise" bill -- will not

prevent an illegal alien from fraudulently using another person's

name and Social Security number to obtain Medicaid or SCHIP

benefits. (September 24, 2007 letter from SSA)

-- The "compromise" bill also gives states the option to enroll

individuals in SCHIP who qualify for other welfare benefits, via an

"express lane" process. An individual who therefore qualifies for

child care programs by attesting to his legal status in the country

may also be enrolled in SCHIP without any additional verification.

Budget Gimmickry: Cuts SCHIP Spending by 80 percent in FY2013

-- In an effort to hide $40 billion in spending, the bill cuts SCHIP

funding by approximately 80 percent in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.

Of course supporters of the "compromise" bill do not intend to cut

SCHIP by an 80 percent reduction, forcing millions of children off

the program. So the real cost of the proposal is likely more than

$110 billion (over 10 years). The bill more than doubles the cost

of the current program.

Replaces Private Coverage with Government-Run Care

-- "Crowds out" private insurance by allowing children who have existing

private insurance to switch to government-run health care funded

entirely by taxpayers.

-- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the "compromise"

bill will shift two million children who already have insurance to a

government-run program.

Provides Coverage for Families Paying AMT

-- Expands SCHIP eligibility up to 300% of federal poverty

level and grandfathers States with higher eligibility levels.

Under the Senate proposal thousands of American families will

be "poor enough" to qualify for SCHIP and have the government

pay for their health care, but be "rich enough" to be required

to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

Continues to Cover Childless Adults

-- Allows childless adults to continue receiving SCHIP coverage through

at least FY 2012.

Creates a New Billion Dollar Slush Fund

-- Creates a new $3 billion (and growing) slush fund that may be used

at a state's discretion.

Increases Taxes

-- Taxes on cigarette packs increased by $0.61 to $1; Taxes on

cigars of up to $3.

SOURCE Office of the Republican Whip
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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