Sunday, September 30, 2007

Support the Children's Health Care Program

President Bush fooled many people into voting for him in both 2000 and 2004 by promising to be a compassionate conservative. He has gone back on his promise many times by vetoing stem cell research which could save lives, not properly funding the No Child Left Behind Act, and now by threatening to veto an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which could bring in an additional 4 million children who are currently uninsured.

Suddenly Mr. Bush is concerned about excess government spending for the children’s health care program. This program would cost an additional $35 billion over a 5 year period. This additional expenditure would be funded by an increase in the cigarette tax which just might help curb smoking a bit.

You have to wonder about Mr. Bush’s priorities. He certainly hasn’t worried about the huge cost in both lives and treasury to fund the war in Iraq—an immoral war that was declared under false pretenses. This war has now cost our country over $1 trillion. Think of what this money could have done for our country. It has been said that just one day in Iraq could provide health insurance coverage for one year to 380,900 uninsured children in America, yet the president worries about the cost of extending the CHIP program.

Mr. Bush has stated that not vetoing this bill would be giving health insurance to middle income children. Well, has he had to purchase health insurance on a $20,000 to $40,000 annual income? The cost of health insurance has been increasing by far more than the increase in salaries for many years. It now costs more than $1,000 per month to insure the health of a family of 4. Only the wealthiest families can afford to pay an extra $1,000 per month on top of other living expenses. It is virtually impossible to pay for private insurance if you are just getting by. Republicasn like to look to the private sector for financing, but because of the high expense, fewer businesses are providing benefits for their employees.

Both the Senate and the House have passed versions of a new Children’s Health Insurance Program bill which will extend coverage to many children currently uninsured. A number of Republicans voted along with all of the Democrats to support passage of this bill. The plan will also strengthen the CHIP benefit package by guaranteeing dental and mental health benefits.

What can you do?

It is important to get veto proof support within the Senate and House. E-mail or phone your Senators and Representatives, particularly if they are Republicans. Tell them to support families and vote for the CHIP reauthorization bill. Let them know that you expect them not to side with the President who has been wrong on so many issues.

If you are uninsured or underinsured, visit Health Plans Plus to save money on your health care.

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