John Carter’s Reply On SCHIP

Posted in Health Care, Take Action, Bad Government Republicans, District 31, Congress, Commentary, Central Texas, Had Enough Yet?, Williamson County at 10:55 am by wcnews

Here is his response. It lays out his four excuses for why he “supports the President’s veto”. It’s a mix of untruths, half-truths, and obfuscation. His four main points are highlighted in an excerpt from his response below. They’re eerily similar to those in the shrill LTE in the RRL last week.

As you may know, I am a proponent of responsibly expanding SCHIP. However, I support the President’s veto of the recently passed SCHIP expansion, which would expand the program to families who make over $80,000 and allow adults up to age 21 to benefit from SCHIP. In addition, the vetoed legislation would have allowed illegal aliens access to federal health care funds. I strongly oppose providing incentives for illegal immigrants before we have provided health coverage to our own poor kids. I look forward to working with my colleagues to craft a plan that will sensibly provide coverage to as many American children as possible. Additionally, I cannot support a proposal that requires our children’s wellbeing to rely upon creating 22 million new smokers to finance the expansion.

Let the debunking begin.

  • Expand the program to families who make over $80,000
  • The program will not be “expanded” to ALL families making over $80,000 as that statement makes it seem. It’s possible it could happen. It would have to be sent from a state to the federal government, where a waiver would have to be granted, and a waiver like that has never been granted.

    However, that claim is patently misleading. The bill actually restricts SCHIP money to families earning no more than 300% of the federal poverty level, which means about $60,000 for a family of four. President Bush’s assertion is based on a waiver request by the State of New York that was in fact rejected by the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • SCHIP allows adults up to age 21 to benefit
  • That claim is true but without context is disingenuous. The adult coverage is allowed only in certain instances, is subject to a federal waiver, and covers adults that need coverage the most - the disabled and pregnant women.

    Some states have in the past obtained waivers from the federal government (yes, the Bush administration) to extend benefits to certain adults, usually adults who are disabled, pregnant, or parents of eligible children. New waivers to provide coverage of adults without children has been prohibited since passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006. The Bush administration likes to portray this as a major dimension of the program by emphasizing that about 600,000 adults are receiving benefits under SCHIP, but that is only a tenth of the six million recipients overall. This is fundamentally a program for uninsured children.

  • Allow(s) illegal aliens access to federal health care
  • That claim is false.

    SCHIP does not cover illegal immigrants. (Thanks to Republican objections during the negotiation of the House-Senate compromise version of the SCHIP bill, it doesn’t even cover legal immigrants.) The entire GOP attack on this basis is premised on a change in how the citizenship status of applicants is verified. States administering the program have determined that requiring documentation of citizenship in the form of birth certificates is impractical and harmful, since many applicants don’t have them. (This is notably true in rural areas.) Therefore, the new law is based on verification of social security numbers, which contrary to myth are not provided to illegal immigrants. While that system may not be perfect, the claim that SCHIP covers illegal immigrants is false, and the notion that legions of illegal immigrants will subvert the system and obtain benefits is patently absurd.

  • Creat(es) 22 million new smokers
  • That claim is false. Another false GOP talking point from a “wing nut” think tank.

    This is a common meme you’ll hear from Republican opponents of the bill. In order for a cigarette tax to work we’d need 22 million new smokers. Rep. Joe Knollenberg’s (R-MI) staffer Trent Wisecup blurted it out in that video with the protester and my Rep Judy Biggert (IL-13) said the same thing in one of her conference calls to constituents I had the displeasure to listen to the other day. This emanates from Heritage Foundation junk economics. Read on for a debunking of this phony argument.

Carter will stick with the President on this and will use phony GOP talking points to try and justify it. I’ve heard quite a few people in Williamson County lament that while they knew Carter was a Republican they thought he was a good man, gave him the benefit of the doubt, and thought he would do the right thing when called upon to do so. They never thought he would turn into the “far right” ideologue he has become since going to Congress. Don’t forget to let him know what you think.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » Carter, SCHIP And Moving On said,

    October 19, 2007 at 10:35 am

    […] insurance, it’s called Medicare. Second, the $80,000+ claim has been debunked many times, here, and elsewhere. And last, the illegal immigrant claim is flat-out-false and he shouldn’t his […]

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