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Liveblogging S-CHIP “debate” on House floor

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 14, 2009 12:51 PM

So far this morning, it’s been an endless parade of Save the Children shrieking. A few bright lights about House Republicans.

GOP Rep. John Culberson chastised the Dems for refusing to hold hearings and refusing to allow Republicans to add amendments:

Said Culberson: “This is a blind yes vote for all of you. No hearings. What are you afraid of? Let the sun shine in! Let the public read the bill (which went up only 24 hours ago.”

Baghdad Jim McDermott thunders: “Health care should be a right, not a privilege.”

Democrat Rep. John Lewis, voice wavering, assails putting “war and greed over children and health.” Yeah, just think of how all the money squandered on Fannie and Freddie corruptocrats could have been better spent covering health insurance for the truly needy.

1:15pm Eastern. GOP Rep. Paul Ryan notes that 2.4 million already on private health insurance plans would be shifted to government programs. “Let’s not bankrupt the country!”

1:25pm Eastern. GOP Rep. John Linder notes lax eligibility checks in Georgia SCHIP program — and camel’s nose under tent for illegal alien coverage.

1:38pm Eastern. Democrat Rep. Eric Massa: “Forget the process. Rome is burning!”

Where have we heard that before?

2:23pm Eastern. Procedural vote on the motion to recommit w/instructions underway…

From Boehner’s office: The GOP alternative.

* Cover low-income children first. Republicans believe that SCHIP legislation should ensure that states are enrolling low-income children below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, especially those who are currently eligible for Medicaid and/or SCHIP, but are not yet enrolled.
* Serve only U.S. citizens and certain legal residents. Republicans believe SCHIP legislation must include stronger protections to prevent fraud by including citizenship verification standards to ensure that only eligible U.S. citizens and certain legal residents are enrolled in the program.
* Not replace private health insurance or force children with private health care to move into a government run program. Republicans want to work with Democrats to cover all eligible low-income children, rather than removing families from private insurance plans and placing them on the government rolls.
* Provide SCHIP with stable funding, without using budget gimmicks that put the program in jeopardy. Republicans do not believe SCHIP legislation should be used as an opportunity to raise taxes, especially on the poorest Americans during an economic crisis, to pay for expanding the program.

The Republican alternative will maintain the program’s core function: ensuring low-income children – not adults, illegal immigrants, and families with private health coverage – have the best care possible. Will Democrats join Republicans in supporting the mission of SCHIP and, indeed, the children it is meant to serve?


The Trojan Horse sails through, with the support of 40 Republicans.

Here’s the roll call vote.

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