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House Debates Children’s Health Care

The House is now considering the final House-Senate agreement to reauthorize the successful Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), H.R. 976, for an additional five years. CHIP provides health coverage to American children whose parents do not qualify for Medicaid, but can not afford private insurance. This bill will bring health coverage to approximately ten million children in need — preserving coverage for all 6.6 million children currently covered by CHIP, and reaching millions more low-income, uninsured American children in the next five years.

Rep. Lois Capps (CA-23):
“Trust me, as a nurse, I know the power and prudence of providing this health care coverage for our kids. It is, indeed, an accomplishment that Congress can be proud of… if we fail to pass this bill, and even one child loses health coverage, we have failed our most important constituents — our children. I urge my colleagues, I strongly urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation. Vote yes to protect children’s health. Suffer, the little children.”
Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel: “Last week the president asked for $200 billion more for the war in Iraq. In the same week, the White House said the bipartisan plan to give children health care included excessive spending and agreed to veto it. I agree that we have excessive spending… in Iraq. For 41 days of the war in Iraq, 10 million US children would get health care. 41 days of the war in Iraq, which we’ve been at war for more than four and half years. Make no mistakes, this debate is not about spending, it is about priorities. So it is no surprise that the President finds himself increasingly isolated from Republicans here on Capitol Hill in the Senate, in the house, and Republicans in the state capitols around America.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-08):
“Mr. Speaker, 90 million Americans, nearly 1/3 of our nation’s population, had no health insurance for some or all of the past two years. Please let it sink in. It is shameful that roughly 10 million of these uninsured are children… Now we’ve heard many things this evening, and that is — you stoop to conquer, you accuse the Democrats and Republicans who support this legislation of wanting to do this for illegals, and then you accuse the Republicans and Democrats who support this legislation of supporting socialized medicine. And that wasn’t bad enough, you went to the next thing: you accused Democrats and Republicans of encouraging smoking. And then you said that we want to aid the rich and comfort the rich. Read the legislation. This is good legislation for America. Help the children for a change.”
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