After Republicans in both houses of Congress rammed through a tax bill to help the 1% at the expense of hardworking Americans, there appears to be more on the chopping block for the most vulnerable of Americans: children.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program was a bipartisan program created in 1997 by Senator Hatch and Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy to provide health insurance for millions of children. It was championed by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and was widely considered one of the best healthcare advances for America until the Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010. One of the crowning achievements of the Clinton Presidency, CHIP currently covers over 9 million children.
The House voted to continue funding the program, but the Senate has yet to take up a vote. While the future of the program remains in limbo states with surpluses, have been transferring money to other states whose CHIP program has run out of money. With 90% of CHIP funding coming from the federal government, states are beginning to worry what will happen after this short-term fix runs out.
It does not look like the Republicans care about extending the program in its current form or continuing to allow poor children the same access to doctors. Hatch, one of the architects of the bill, had this to say about the future of the program
We’re going to do CHIP, there’s no question about it in my mind. And it’s got to be done the right way. But the reason CHIP’s having trouble is because we don’t have money anymore, and to just add more and more spending and more and more spending, and you can look at the rest of the bill for the more and more spending.
In the same meeting, Hatch then advocated for how good the tax bill is for the country. But this proposal arguably makes things demonstrably worse for the vast majority of working-class Americans, including the children and families who rely on CHIP to get their children regular doctor visits or help if they are sick.
So it goes that we can give trillions of dollars to the 1% but our children, inarguably the most defenseless constituents in the nation, will be left to fend for themselves for the time being and should Congress be willing to help it will certainly be a watered-down form of the program we once knew.
Senator Hatch has shown his complicity in his betrayal of the American public and where one should least expect it, but where no surprise should burst forward: with the American schoolchildren. This draconian thought process that has taken over the GOP shows they have no heart and no compassion for any of the voters they represent.
And impoverished children will pay the price.