Crunch Time for Congress!
SCHIP legislation will be considered by Congress this week in the House and Senate!
WE NEED CALLS TO BOTH SENATORS AND ALL VIRGINIA MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE.
SENATE UPDATE: With a strong bipartisan vote, the Senate Finance Committee adopted a SCHIP bill that included a $35 billion expansion funded by a 61 cent increase in the federal tobacco tax (bringing the tax to a dollar per pack of cigarettes). Many have pointed out that cigarette taxes are regressive, but others have argued that this is the only funding mechanism that will produce anything close to bipartisan agreement in Congress. The full Senate vote will be this week!
HOUSE UPDATE: The House Ways and Means Committee worked into Thursday night and Friday morning to approve a broader bill called “CHAMPS” that would include a $50 billion SCHIP expansion and a 45 cent increase in the federal tobacco tax. The House bill also would end the federal government's practice of paying more for people using Medicare Advantage (HMOs within Medicare that tend to attract healthier people) than it does for traditional Medicare. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over SCHIP, got bogged down in political maneuvering on Friday, and the Chairman decided to send the bill to the House floor without a committee vote. The House could vote on the bill early this week!
RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT’S VETO THREAT: The President has threatened to veto this legislation, saying it represents an expansion of the government that will "crowd out" private insurance. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has pointed out that most of the children who would get health insurance under the bills are those who already meet the eligibility requirements but are not enrolled, and that the majority by far are children who would otherwise not have health insurance. 96,000 uninsured children in Virginia are eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP but are not enrolled. The SCHIP legislation would fund their insurance and allow for growth in Virginia ’s program.
ACTION NEEDED: Calls to ALL Virginia members of Congress. They all need to hear from constituents!
THE MESSAGE: “PLEASE PUT CHILDREN FIRST! SUPPORT THE SCHIP BILL! PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE TO 96,000 UNINSURED CHILDREN IN VIRGINIA !”
Phone Fax Email / Website*
Senator John Warner (R) 202-224-2023 202-224-6295 www.warner.senate.gov
Senator Jim Webb (D) 202-224-4024 202-228-6363 www.webb.senate.gov
Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-1st) 202-225-4261 202-225-4382 http://joanndavis.house.gov
Rep. Thelma Drake (R-2nd) 202-225-4215 202-225-4218 http://drake.house.gov
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-3rd) 202-225-8351 202-225-8354 email@example.com
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4th) 202-225-6365 202-226-1170 www.house.gov/forbes/
Rep. Virgil Goode (I-5th) 202-225-4711 202-225-5681 www.house.gov/goode/
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-6th) 202 225-5431 202-225-9681 www.house.gov/goodlatte
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-7th) 202-225-2815 202-225-0011 http://cantor.house.gov
Rep. James Moran (D-8th) 202-225-4376 202-225-0017 http://moran.house.gov
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-9th) 202-225-3861 202-225-0442 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) 202-225-5136 202-225-0437 www.house.gov/wolf
Rep. Tom Davis (R-11th) 202-225-1492 202-225-3071 http://tomdavis.house.gov
DON’T DELAY! PLEASE MAKE YOUR CALLS TODAY!
Jill A. Hanken, Staff Attorney, Virginia Poverty Law Center, 700 E. Franklin St . Suite 14T1, Richmond , VA 23219, 804-782-9430 ext. 13, 804-649-0974 (fax), email@example.com