Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More Knollenberg Lies on his SCHIP vote

Mike Brownfield, Joe Knollenberg's campaign manager made this video recently. The lies contained therein are unacceptable, so I'd like to set the record straight.

Lie 1: The bill opens the door for illegal immigrants to receive benefits.

Reality: The latest version of the SCHIP bill specifically excludes illegal aliens from receiving benefits under the provisions of the bill.

Lie 2: The bill is paid for by 22 million new smokers.

The bill is paid for by raising the tobacco tax by 61 cents a pack. The higher the cost of cigarettes, the less likely kids will take up smoking. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a 61-cent increase in the tobacco tax means that 1,873,000 fewer children will take up smoking. Furthermore, the vast majority of Members of the House and Senate – both Democratic and Republican – are on record in favor of raising tobacco taxes. In August, all but 4 House Republicans voted for the GOP motion to recommit that included an increase of 45 cents a pack in the tobacco tax.

Lie 3: The bill would expand coverage to 700,000 adults.

Reality: The SCHIP program focuses virtually all of its resources on children in the poorest of working families – fewer than 1 in 10 children covered under SCHIP lives in a family of four earning more than $41,000 a year. This is how the program will remain under the bill.

This bipartisan bill places the priority on children’s coverage – and therefore PHASES OUT the coverage of parents and childless adults entirely over a two-year period (there are currently about 600,000 of these adults covered under SCHIP). Only optional coverage for pregnant women remains under the bill.

SCHIP has broad bi-partisan support and Joe Knollenberg is out of step with many of his Republican colleagues.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
“[This bill] breaks the legislative impasse and should have strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill will enable the Children’s Health Insurance Program to help cover millions more low-income children.” [Joint press release, 9/21/07]

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Iowa)
“I have been fighting for legislation that will not only continue the CHIP program, but also cover more low-income kids who are eligible for CHIP. Today, we are unveiling our bipartisan compromise that accomplishes those two very important goals. Our proposal is an honest compromise which improves a program that works for America’s low-income children.” [Joint press release, 9/21/07]

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.)
“I grew up with acute asthma, and I know personally how important it is for kids to have access to affordable health care. This bill will continue to provide health care coverage to millions of children who otherwise would be uninsured.” [Statement, 9/26/07]

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