INHOFE STATEMENT ON SCHIP LEGISLATION

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today announced that he is a co-sponsor along with Senators Lott (R-Miss.) and Coburn (R-Okla.), among others, of the SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (S.2086), which provides an 18-month clean extension of the SCHIP program without the big-government expansions in the Democrats’ SCHIP re-authorization legislation (H.R.976).  The temporary extension is consistent with the President’s plan and increases funding in accordance with CBO estimates of the costs to ensure that every state’s SCHIP program is fully funded when the current program’s authorization ends on September 30th.    
 
“I support the original intent of the SCHIP program, which provides health coverage for uninsured children in need,” Senator Inhofe said.  “Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats have been playing politics with the SCHIP re-authorization bill, using it as a vehicle to advance their long-standing agenda of socializing healthcare and creating a new middle-class entitlement.
 
“The Democrats’ legislation unnecessarily expands state-wide health insurance coverage from low-income, uninsured children to include entitlements to some upper-middle class families and adults, forcing the federal government to insure adults with funds intended for children.  Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that almost 2.1 million people eligible in this new bracket could drop private coverage in favor of government-run, taxpayer-funded insurance.  This unprecedented expansion toward nationalized healthcare will detrimentally affect the quality of coverage available to Americans. 
 
“Congress needs to pass a clean extension of SCHIP that maintains the original intent of the program by providing health insurance for the millions of uninsured, low-income children across the country, not middle-class adults.   I co-sponsored the SCHIP Extension Act to do just that – provide an 18-month extension of the SCHIP program, ensuring that children are still able to receive health insurance when the program expires this week.”
 
 
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