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NY-26: Chris Lee Votes to Reauthorize SCHIP

by on January 17, 2009

Earlier this week, Congressman Chris Lee voted to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) — a bill previously vetoed by President Bush, because of various expansions made by Democrats that undermined the programs original intent, which was to cover children living in poverty.

Here is what Chris Lee had to say about his vote.

I am proud to support legislation that strengthens SCHIP’s ability to provide children living in poverty with access to affordable health insurance. This program has a solid track record of covering children in families who don’t have enough resources to keep pace with the rising costs of health care.

Lee does, however appear to recognize that there are still flaws in the bill, he said, “I have concerns about whether this legislation does enough to focus coverage to help children most in need.”

We cannot tolerate any loopholes or abuses, especially now in the middle of an economic crisis, when the situation for many families is dire. I hope the legislative process will yield a better final product that addresses these concerns and ensures that SCHIP continues to serve the needs of low-income children first.

Putting my objections to the government being in the health insurance business, my issues with this bill stem from what was clearly an attempt to quickly push legislation through Congress, without adequate debate, to give Obama the credit for “getting things done.”

And yes, Chris Lee’s concerns are valid. In fact, the bill has changes in it that will make it easier for kids in families that can easily afford private health insurance to go on the taxpayer-funded program. In economic times like these, this will only add the country’s problems.

Robert Harding at The Albany Project is giddy about Lee’s vote.

I know many people in the 26th congressional district and I am certain that this vote will get their attention. In the past, we have had a representative who voted the Republican party line on most, if not all of the critical pieces of legislation that the House of Representatives voted on. Now, we have a representative who, early on in his term, has voted against his party and for the constituents and working families in his district.

What Harding fails to understand (and Buffalo Pundit for that matter) is that this issue is not about voting party line or not. Republicans helped create the program in 1997, with the goal of covering poor children. Repblicans still support the program’s original purpose, but If the current bill expands coverage to children who are not poor (and it does), it defeats the program’s purpose, and brings us a step closer to socialized health care.

There is a difference between a program’s stated intent and its actual result. It is easy to be distracted by the former and ignore the latter.

I hope that Chris Lee’s legitimate concerns about the bill are quickly addressed and fixed.

  1. The Republican Party has been a party of big government since it first gained power in 1861. Nothing new there.

    The Democratic Party has been a big government party since Grover the Great left the White House.

    Both parties suck.

  2. Carol Mulligan permalink

    You don’t seem to understand the difference between “Universal Health Care”(which SCHIPs does move us closer to) and “Socialized Medicine” (which is a horse of different color-and not at all what SCHIPs is about)

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