SCHIP Needs Your Voice Before Upcoming Vote
Democrats are about to push through another vote on SCHIP legislation — this week in the House and coming up thereafter in the Senate, from what I’m hearing. The previously passed extension on SCHIP expires on March 31st.
And they need your help to make certain the votes are there:
Supporters of the bill said it would cover 10 million children, providing benefits for nearly 4 million who are uninsured, while continuing coverage for 6.6 million youngsters already enrolled. The federal government now spends more than $5 billion a year on the program, and while precise figures are not yet available, the expansion would more than double that cost.
Experts estimate that 400,000 to 600,000 immigrant children affected by the restrictions could get insurance under the bill.
“Children should not be forced to wait five years for health care,” said Jennifer M. Ng’andu, a health policy specialist at the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic rights group. “Five years is a lifetime to a child.”
Predictably, the GOP which swears its objections are on fiscal grounds, is stirring up the "scary brown people are taking your money" pot again. Eric Cantor, newly elected GOP House whip had this to say:
"…Republicans had concerns about expanding the program, to immigrants or any other group, before the original purpose of the program was achieved."
Look for the usual screeching from "scary immigrant" wingnut corners. Fiscal responsibility may be the underpinning, but fiscal conservatism doesn’t exactly tug at wingnutty heartstrings these days, or beat the shouting tom toms like scary brown people obviously do. Sad.
From a public health perspective, though, immunization for children entering the country seems logical to me: prevention of the spread of potentially virulent and communicable diseases brought into the country is just plain common sense. How about you?
SCHIP provides a safety net of health care for the most vulnerable in our society. Given the current economic climate, more and more families are going to fall into the cracks — meaning children who could use health care now to correct a problem which may just get worse over time could use a hand.