[StBernard] Baker criticizes Democrats for attempting to cut seniors’ health care, abandoning low-income children

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Oct 3 21:11:39 EDT 2007

Baker criticizes Democrats for attempting to cut seniors’ health care, abandoning low-income children

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Richard Baker, R-Baton Rouge, today issued the following statement in response to President Bush’s veto of a Democrat bill to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and joined fellow Republicans in supporting a renewal and expansion of the program for low-income children.

“As an ardent proponent of the legislation that created the program in 1997, I support SCHIP and its original intent to provide poor children with health care coverage to which they would not otherwise have access. The bill that the President has vetoed is not the SCHIP that was created a decade ago; it is an attempt to expand government-run health insurance under the guise of supporting poor children. Democrat leaders are discarding the principles on which this program was built. In Louisiana , nearly 70,000 children remain eligible but un-enrolled under the current LaChip program, and we should be focusing on how to provide coverage for these low-income, uninsured children instead of abandoning them to encourage higher-income families to move their kids from private to public insurance.

“Democrats first tried to rob senior citizens to fund this expansion, and when we stopped them from doing that, they decided to slash funding for SCHIP after 2012. In 2012, these same Members will be on the hunt for a new funding stream; whose programs will they raid then? This bill is an empty promise for the future of health care for our children, and I will not support their disingenuous attempt to convince the American people that this is good public policy.

“There are clearly some reforms we should make with regard to the current program, but discarding the needs of our poor children to expand the eligibility to middle and upper income families is a ridiculous notion when there are well over one million children nationwide who are low-income, uninsured, and eligible under the existing program. If Democrat leaders sincerely wanted to make the program better, they would focus on changing the way states like Minnesota use 87 percent of their children’s health insurance funding to pay for coverage for adults.

“I refuse to make this program a middle class entitlement program, will continue to support the health care needs of our low-income children, and will advocate for responsible and effective approaches to ensure that American children have access to health care.”


For more news about Congressman Baker, please visit

www.baker.house.gov <http://www.baker.house.gov/>

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