Congressman Aderholt Votes to Oppose Raid on Medicaid Funds
August 1, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) voted today in opposition to H.R. 3162, Children's Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act, which reauthorizes the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Congressman Aderholt supported the original SCHIP program in 1997 but was concerned with several provisions in the current bill. The bill passed the House by a 225 to 204 vote. He offered the following statement explaining his vote:
“In 1997 I voted in favor of a new federal program that was intended to insure children whose families are low-income but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. SCHIP was a partnership between states and the federal government that gave states the flexibility to set their own eligibility requirements and generally run the program in a manner that suited their needs.
The bill before the House today represented a gross perversion of that original vision of insurance for needy children. After studying this legislation, it was clear that while I support SCHIP, there was no way possible that I could vote for this liberal piece of legislation.
First, and perhaps most importantly, in order to pay for this greatly expanded program Democrats have proposed cutting Medicare spending by at least $194 billion. In the 4th Congressional District that would hurt approximately 10,100 seniors who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Program. I will not support, nor will I vote for, any legislation that hurts senior citizens this way.
Second, this proposal guts the current income eligibility requirements. It opens the door for families who already have private insurance coverage to participate in the program. It raises the eligibility age of “children” participating in the program to 25 and permits states to enroll childless adults as well. At the end of the day, this isn’t an insurance program for children any longer but rather the beginnings of a national socialized health care system such as Hillary Clinton proposed years ago.
Finally, I believe it’s important to note that there are concerns that illegal immigrants may be eligible for SCHIP benefits under this proposal. I think most Americans would be very reluctant for Congress to go in that direction.
At the end of the day, I believe that this bill guts SCHIP and kills its original purpose. Therefore, that’s not something I can support.”