Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today will vote against the conference report on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The legislation is expected to pass the Senate. The House of Representatives has already passed SCHIP and President Bush has said he will veto it when it reaches his desk.
“I was very concerned when the SCHIP program was created in 1997 it would eventually be expanded beyond its original purpose,” said Graham. “From the start, there were worries SCHIP could serve as the first brick in the road to national health care. Sure enough, a decade later, Congress will expand the program and add dozens of new bricks on the pathway toward government-run, government-controlled national health care.”
Graham noted several problems with the SCHIP legislation including:
- The expanded SCHIP program moves our nation closer to a single-payer, government-run, government-controlled national health care system.
- The SCHIP program, created in 1997, was originally designed to provide health insurance to low-income children. Under the new expansion, the program will now cover adults and families earning as much as $82,600 a year. This year 13 percent of SCHIP funds will go to adults, not low-income children.
- The program encourages people to move from private health insurance to government-funded health insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 2 million individuals who are currently insured will move from private insurance to government insurance.
“There are many very serious problems with this legislation,” said Graham. “This bill doubles the cost of the SCHIP program and is a giant step toward nationalized healthcare. In addition, no longer are we just covering low-income children, but adults can now join the program. Finally, we encourage families to drop private insurance and join the government program. This is a very bad day for our health care system and the American taxpayer.”