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July 30, 2007

House Floor - H.R. 3162: CHAMP Act

After the House takes up its two final appropriations bills this week, it plans to take up its version of the SCHIP reauthorization, H.R. 3162, the Children's Health And Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act.

This bill would add $50 billion to the program, along with a measure to keep doctors' Medicare fees from dipping in the next two years (citizenJoe).

While this program has helped a lot of families, this legislation has several problems.


Problems on the macro level (big picture):
  1. Obvious: Fiscal discipline.

    H.R. 3162 would add $50 billion to the program (citizenJoe), $80 billion over the next five years (CWA, 7/27/2007). Considering that we have spent $4 billion per year on SCHIP since it was created in 1997, this proposal doubles a program in which even now two-thirds of those eligible are not enrolled (CWA, 7/27/2007).

    Pray that Congress would exercise fiscal restraint.

  2. Obscure: Back door to universal government health care

    Basically, the strategy is to sell the program to the public as covering "the poor," and then declare huge chunks of the population poor. The Senate version of the SCHIP bill (S. 1224) stipulates a child is covered "whose family income ... does not exceed 300 percent of the poverty line for a family of the size involved." 300 percent of the poverty line is more than $60,000 per year for a family of four.

    Sources on the Hill tell us that proponents are even flirting with the idea of covering families at 400% of poverty: $80,000/year families would be considered "the working poor."

    Pray that Congress would not turn America into a poor country by considering everyone poor.

Problems on the micro level (details):
  1. H.R. 3162 includes "family planning services," abortion and contraceptives, as required services for which states must pay (CWA, 7/27/2007).

    Pray that Congress would not fund evil life-taking activities such as abortion.

  2. H.R. 3162 excludes Title V Abstinence Education Funding.

    Congressman Lee Terry (R-Nebraska), a longtime champion of federal abstinence education programs, will offer an amendment to reauthorize the Title V Abstinence Education program (CWA, 7/27/2007).

    Pray that Congress would support God-honor proposals that promote marital fidelity, including the Terry Amendment.

Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored (Proverbs 13:18).

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