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Greg Walden Votes Against Oregon KidsOp-Ed by Tim King Salem-News.com
As men like Bush and Walden block a move to fund children's healthcare, the lifespan in the continental U.S. drops below Puerto Rico and Bosnia.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The annual cost of providing healthcare to 10 million children is equivalent to 41 days worth of funding for the war in Iraq. Congressman Greg Walden apparently believes funding the war in Iraq is a good investment of yout tax money, but he thinks our children aren't quite worth it.
The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), protects existing health care coverage for 6.6 million children and extending coverage to 3.8 million kids who are currently uninsured. The bill will extend coverage to 36,000 additional children in Oregon alone.
For many residents of this NW state, this goes to the very root of what is wrong in this country, and clearly outlines the principles of most of our elected Republican leaders.
Waldon accuses the bill's creators of hiding costs, but that is all an assumption on his part, a suspicion,. Still, it is enough to cause him to join George Bush and turn his back on the ranks of uninsured children who live without proper medical care.
So let's look at the bigger picture. Americans by and large, still consider this country to be advanced in terms of medical research and practice, but our average lifespan is now 78 years.
Do you know who is ahead of us? Here's the list with respective ages:
Andorra 83.52, Macau 82.27, Japan 82.02, San Marino 81.80,Singapore 81.80, Hong Kong 81.68, Sweden 80.63, Australia 80.62, Switzerland 80.62, France 80.59, Guernsey 80.53, Iceland 80.43, Canada 80.34, Cayman Islands 80.20, Italy 79.94, Gibraltar 79.93, Monaco 79.82, Liechtenstein 79.81, Spain 79.78, Norway 79.67, Israel 79.59, Jersey 79.51, Faroe Islands 79.49, Greece 79.38, Austria 79.21, Virgin Islands 79.20, Malta 79.15, Netherlands 79.11, Luxembourg 79.03, Montserrat 79.00, New Zealand 78.96, Germany 78.95, Belgium 78.92, Guam 78.76, Saint Pierre and Miquelon 78.76, European Union 78.70, United Kingdom 78.70, Finland 78.66, Isle of Man 78.64, Jordan 78.55, Puerto Rico 78.54, Bosnia and Herzegovina 78.17, Bermuda 78.13, Saint Helena 78.09, United States 78.0.
Bosnia and Herzegovina? Puerto Rico? That's right, the U.S. has slipped below some of the world's most detached and even unknown countries and regions in length of life, and this figures are not from a liberal think tank, they are from the CIA. You can see the complete list by visiting this site: CIA World Factbook
So as Congressman Walden and President Bush make their political moves, they leave little doubt as to what their priorities and motivations are. In the meanwhile, third world nations are passing us up and our kids will not have as much coverage because they are not prioritized by today's elected leaders.
On the other hand, many of Oregon's representatives seem to believe that ten million kids are worth as much as 41 days of the Iraq War. That list includes U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Darlene Hooley and David Wu.
They were on the list of House members who voted Tuesday to expand health insurance for children, but the Democratic-led victory may prove short-lived because the margin was too small to override President Bush's promised veto.
Walden says one thing that concerns him, is that the SCHIP possibly would benefit children who are illegal aliens. Once again the health of a general populace is deterred by a politician who worries that the "wrong kids" will get healthcare. There are some family values for you.
While SCHIP is considered, "a successful and worthy program for children across the country," according to Walden, he raises unfounded suspicions about future funding.
“To hide the true cost of the measure, the bill cuts SCHIP funding by approximately 80 percent in FY 2013. It’s logical to presume that the supporters of the bill do not actually intend to cut SCHIP by 80 percent, which would force millions of children off the program."
Then Walden works around to the real issue: cost. "The real cost of the proposal is much more than advertised – likely more than $110 billion, which is more than a doubling of the cost of the current program. Children’s health care should not be predicated on budget gimmicks."
One point Walden cites that is troubling, suggests that the plan's sponsors deliberately delayed presentation of the bill until it was too late for GOP members to fully evaluate it, Walden says.
"The House Rules Committee did not receive text of the 299-page legislation until 6:30 PM last night, and that was the first time Republicans were allowed to view the proposal we voted on today. The bill came to the House floor without the opportunity to offer amendments or an alternative proposal and without a single hearing. This is no way to legislate."
Perhaps he has that point nailed, but it speaks to a larger picture, Democrats were concerned that the plan would not move forward, they are trying to see our children's healthcare advance. It is not a cheap or economic goal, unfortunately Walden and Bush only see it through the eyes of a bean counter, in spite of the fact that we are talking about American youth.
“The President has made it clear that he will veto this measure. So it is frustrating that children’s health care is caught in Washington’s political crosshairs. It’s time for Congress and the White House to sit down in good faith and work out a reauthorization plan for children’s health that can become the law of the land.”
That's OK, we know who put it in the crosshairs Congressman, and it wasn't the child health advocates, it was you and the President and others who gauge the value of today's youth as something not quite worth quite as much as 41 days in Iraq.
As insurance costs spiral out of control, Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio characterized the political moves of our national leader, who has threatened to veto the resolution if it passes.
"President Bush has threatened to veto the bill because he is ideologically opposed to extending health care to children through CHIP and instead believes in using the tax code to provide incentives for all families to shop for health care on their own."
DeFazio says Bush also complained about the cost of the bill, as his own spending creates a burden that this nation will have to work hard to recover from, if it ever can.
"Unlike his $200 billion request for Iraq that Congress will consider soon, and the $566 billion that has already been provided for the war in Iraq, H.R. 976 will not add a single penny to the federal deficit."
The benefit improvements proposed under the plan include dental coverage for all kids enrolled in CHIP and mental health coverage on par with coverage for physical ailments.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with almost twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist and reporter. Today, in addition to his role as a war correspondent in Afghanistan where he spent the winter of 2006/07, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated only with Google News. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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