Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Say YES to children!
Key recess messages
(1) As our children head back to school, Congress must help
make sure that young people have the health coverage they need
to succeed. Congress can do this by passing a strong $50 billion
SCHIP reauthorization. Six million children rely on SCHIP and
another five million uninsured low-income children would be
covered by new funding. These are God’s children – they need
our support.
(2) As people of faith, we will not tolerate politicians playing
politics with our children. We are all judged by how we treat the
least among us, especially innocent children. SCHIP has been a
great success with strong bi-partisan support since it began. The
faith community expects Congress and the President to say YES
to covering our children before SCHIP ends on September 30.

Responses to false and misleading claims
They say: The House bill cuts Medicare benefits for seniors to fund children’s health
􀃖We say: The House bill strengthens Medicare by reducing overpayments to insurance
companies, which is why it is supported by the AARP, the nation’s leading advocate for
seniors, and many other seniors’ organizations throughout the country. The House bill
eliminates windfalls to insurance companies while significantly improving the program

for all participants, a win-win for America’s children and seniors.
They say: The House bill expands health coverage to children in families earning $80,000.
􀃖We say: The bill sends needed funds to states to cover 5 million low-income children.

As private insurance has gotten more expensive, one state with high costs (New York)
offers subsidized coverage to uninsured children in higher income families. The

real story is that more than 9 of 10 children in SCHIP are in low-income families
earning less than $41,000, for a family of four.
They say: The bill allows illegal aliens to get government-funded health care.
􀃖We say: This is quite simply a false and misleading claim. Undocumented immigrants
are not eligible for insurance benefits under SCHIP or Medicaid. Neither the House nor
Senate bill changes this policy.
The House bill gives states the option to provide coverage to legally documented

immigrant children, a change that is widely supported by local and state officials
from both parties. The House and Senate bills give states more flexibility in how
they determine citizenship. This fixes a problem that has kept tens of thousands
of U.S. citizens from obtaining coverage. This change removes a barrier to
eligible children, but does not open SCHIP or Medicaid to undocumented children.
They say: This is a vast expansion of government health care, paving the way to

socialized medicine.
􀃖We say: This is about living up to our commitment to this nation’s children and

reducing the number of uninsured children from 9 million to 4 million – something
we can all be proud of. Families understand that it is getting harder to obtain
affordable coverage for their children. SCHIP has worked successfully
over the past ten years to reduce the number of uninsured children by
one-third without disrupting the health care system. SCHIP covers
children who would otherwise be uninsured and it is administered

through private insurance contractors, not government agencies. It
has had bi-partisan support since it was created.
They say: An increase in the federal tobacco tax hurts low-income people
􀃖We say: Tobacco taxes are a proven deterrent to youth smoking.

Raising the federal tobacco tax will save the lives of tens of thousands
of people, while saving all of us billions of dollars in unneeded medical
costs. Congress relied on tobacco tax revenue to create SCHIP in
1997 and should use it again to strengthen the program.
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