"The policies of the government ought to be help poor children and to focus on poor children. ... Poor kids first." - President George W. Bush, 10/3/07
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrongly stated Congress' bill is "just enrolling all of the children who are eligible" and not "expanding an eligibility" for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). (Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Floor Statement, U.S. House Of Representatives, 10/3/07)
There are hundreds of thousands of children eligible for SCHIP under current law who are not signed up for the program. SCHIP was created to cover children in families with annual incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal poverty level.
Congress' bill explicitly rejects a requirement that 95 percent of eligible children from families with incomes under 200 percent of the poverty level must be enrolled in SCHIP before children in higher-income families can be covered.
Congress' bill would also allow SCHIP to cover children in some households with incomes of up to $83,000 per year 400 percent of the Federal poverty level.
Speaker Pelosi inaccurately claimed Congress' bill is "about private medicine." (Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Floor Statement, U.S. House Of Representatives, 10/3/07)
Under Congress' plan, one out of every three additional children moving onto government coverage would be moving from private insurance. Of the approximately 6 million enrollees Congress' legislation would attract by 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that 2 million would drop private insurance to enroll.
The policies of the government ought to be helping people get private insurance, not Federal coverage. That's why the President believes strongly in Association Health Plans to help small business owners better afford insurance for their workers and believes we ought to change the Federal tax code to help individuals better afford insurance in the marketplace.
Speaker Pelosi falsely accused the President of "miss[ing] an opportunity to say to the children of America, your health and well-being are important to us." (Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Floor Statement, U.S. House Of Representatives, 10/3/07)
Today, President Bush reiterated his strong support for SCHIP. THE PRESIDENT: "I strongly support the program. I like the idea of helping those who are poor be able to get health coverage for their children. I supported it as governor, and I support it as President of the United States." (President George W. Bush, Remarks To The Lancaster Chamber Of Commerce And Industry, Lancaster, PA, 10/3/07)
This year, the Administration will spend about $35.5 billion to provide health insurance for poor children through Medicaid. THE PRESIDENT: "In other words, when they say, 'Well, poor children aren't being covered in America,' if that's what you're hearing on your TV screens, I'm telling you there's $35.5 billion worth of reasons not to believe that." (President George W. Bush, Remarks To The Lancaster Chamber Of Commerce And Industry, Lancaster, PA, 10/3/07)