Republicans have seized
upon another potential crisis point—funding for Children's Health Insurance Program—and are exploring in what ways they can slash and burn it. As usual. But one observer wants to know why
a traditionally bipartisan and popular program is suddenly in GOP crosshairs.
With Republican presidential candidates trumpeting their concern about the struggles of working and middle-class families, why would congressional leadership undermine the wildly popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)?
CHIP is that rare social program where success is celebrated by both Republicans and Democrats. Governors across the political spectrum support the program, which gives states flexibility in design while the federal Treasury pays an average of 88 percent of costs. By covering 5.8 million children, whose parents don't get children's health coverage at work but earn too much for Medicaid, CHIP has dramatically cut the proportion of uninsured children, providing them with good coverage and their parents with affordable premiums and low out-of-pocket costs. […]
In late February, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) published a discussion draft that would endanger the health of at least 1 million children enrolled in CHIP while raising costs to states.
Why? Because—news flash—they don't really care about children. And they really don't care about the children of working and middle-class families—little 47 percenters in the making.