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Harry Reid writes: "Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues have introduced a bill that would unravel these stability protections, possibly denying hundreds of thousands of women and children access to health care provided through Medicaid and eliminating or cutting the Children's Health Insurance Program, depending on the state."

Mary Thompson with her daughter Emily, 11, who had not been covered by her parents' insurance because of pre-existing conditions, 09/22/10. (photo: Steve Hebert/NYT)
Mary Thompson with her daughter Emily, 11, who had not been covered by her parents' insurance because of pre-existing conditions, 09/22/10. (photo: Steve Hebert/NYT)

GOP Would Cut Health Insurance for 1.7 Million Kids

By Sen. Harry Reid, Reader Supported News

01 June 11


RSN Special Coverage: GOP's War on American Labor


aving grown up in a family that could not afford health care, I know how difficult it can be to go to a doctor when you need one.

That's one of the reasons I worked on health insurance reform. No person in the United States should go without care when they need it.

I remember an afternoon in October 1951 when my 10-year-old brother Larry fell off his bike and broke his leg. There was no money for a doctor. His leg was never set, and it eventually healed crooked.

Doctor visits were not an option in my home - not for us kids and not for my parents either. My mother's teeth fell out one by one because she never could pay to see a dentist. She had to gum her food and couldn't eat the meat we had, so we ate a lot of beans and rice.

Last year's health insurance reform law provides benefits to seniors on Medicare, people with preexisting and chronic conditions, and small businesses. We have eliminated lifetime limits and made preventive care more affordable.

When writing the law, we knew it would take time to implement, and we worked to minimize the number of people who would have lost coverage before health insurance reform was fully enacted. We provided funding for employers to continue early retiree coverage and gave tax credits to small businesses - both groups were susceptible to losing coverage in the current system.

And we wanted to ensure that low-income children, the elderly, and people with disabilities would be protected, so we included an important provision requiring states to keep Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance (CHIP) strong. It prevents states from cutting Medicaid coverage for adults prior to January 1, 2014 and protects children's coverage in Medicaid and CHIP through 2019.

Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues have introduced a bill that would unravel these stability protections, possibly denying hundreds of thousands of women and children access to health care provided through Medicaid and eliminating or cutting the Children's Health Insurance Program, depending on the state.

Republicans argue that cutting kids and parents from Medicaid saves money. In fact, such cuts would prove quite costly. Hospitals, community health care centers, and other providers would have increasing rates of uncompensated care, leading to increased costs for everyone else.

By 2013, 400,000 deserving people - two-thirds of them children - would lose vital health care services under the Republican plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The stakes get even higher in 2014. That's when Medicaid will expand. The lowest-income citizens will be eligible for Medicaid coverage. We will truly see a decline in the uninsured in this country. But if the Republican plan becomes law, the Congressional Budget Office estimates 1.7 million children would lose health insurance by 2016. Half the states could entirely eliminate their CHIP programs, while remaining states would dangerously roll back coverage.

Medicaid and CHIP provide care for Americans who cannot afford it. Most recipients are women and children. The Republican plan would let states drastically limit enrollment and eligibility rates - and must be opposed.

There are a lot of people today who are just like my mother and brother - people who cope with unnecessary pain because they lack money. In Nevada, for instance, nearly 250,000 people rely on health services through Medicaid that they otherwise could not afford.

Medicaid and CHIP exist to provide mothers and children, among others, the safety net they need. These programs have helped reduce the child uninsured rate by more than half, to less than 10 percent, over the last decade. Without them, the health of low-income Americans would be much worse.

Helping people treat conditions that may become life-threatening is far less costly than helping people whose conditions have already reached a critical stage.

This July marks the 46th anniversary of Medicaid, an opportunity to reflect on the millions of Americans whose lives are supported or saved, thanks to its existence.

There is no better way to mark this anniversary than by making sure we keep Medicaid strong and viable, and oppose attempts to weaken it. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+5 # KittatinyHawk 2011-06-01 10:47
Of course they would...we are paying for theirs and their families. Continue to do so! What does that say about us?
+4 # Capn Canard 2011-06-01 11:47
We are stupid? maybe that was too harsh, um... we are ignorant? we are distracted? we are frightened into submission? we are afraid of being the next target? we are intimidated into silence? etc etc etc
+13 # jfeldman 2011-06-01 10:56
Put up a spending bill and fight for it. Be sure to include taxes on the richest 1%. We would not be in this problem if it were not for the Bush tax cuts and the 2 wars he started.
+10 # feloneouscat 2011-06-01 10:58
The GOP's War On Children...
+14 # DPM 2011-06-01 11:10
We are becoming a third world economy. An autocratic government run by large wealthy interests. Now it is setting up an extensive domestic spy network and weakening citizen rights. A huge military. An "uber-rich" ruling class. An ever growing "under-class". Drones. The "Fifth Estate" is just another "money machine", generally disinterested in actual journalism. A large and growing percentage of our population is more interested in "Dancing With The Stars" than the extension of the Patriot Act. It remains only for someone "at the top" to actually declare us a police state and force us into submission, as opposed to cheating us into it, as is being done, now. Will there be a public outcry? Seriously. Will there be a public response?
+2 # boudreaux 2011-06-01 15:20
But we don't have to all we have to do is fight.
+10 # Capn Canard 2011-06-01 11:45
This crazy movement(I believe it is called Disaster Capitalism) of GOP to cut non-military spending is an effort to create a fabricated disaster meant to create fear among the people. If The People are frightened then non-military spending can be cut without objection. Currently, we have a so-called budget crisis and guess what? Military is off the budget cutting table BUT S-Chip, Medicaid, Medicare, Education, et al are all on the table... This isn't rocket science, so just how stupid are The People? YOU are all being screwed and no one is objecting. The Corporatocracy will do nothing because Corporations have a MANDATE TO CREATE PROFIT, but have no such mandate to create quality products or any useful results for society.
-11 # MidwestTom 2011-06-01 12:04
Go the "Government Gone Wild" on youtube. The interest on the national debt will soon exceed the cost of all government programs except Soc. Security; Medicare, and the Military. The question is what should we do? We are borrowing $0.41 for every dollar the Federal government spends. The choices are to not touch Medicare and have it go bankrupt in seven years, or limit it's offerings and have it go on forever. Personally I would limit new child support to two children for unmarried mothers.
+4 # Anarchist 23 2011-06-01 13:43
Yes, it is all the fault of women and their children! Maybe we should just ban reproduction! Stop the wars and tax the rich and the corporations-th at would fix the budget hole PDQ! As for 'child support'-after 'Free Willy' Clinton fixed 'welfare as we know it' no one can claim more than 5 years of benefits in a lifetime! So women must work-even if there are no jobs they must find them-and even if there is no school or childcare, they must provide for it! The GSA (Geheim Staats of Amerikkka)is a very cruel society-philoso phically we are already Fascists-death and destruction and despair to the weak-all power and pleasure to the powerful and rich!
+3 # Dave W. 2011-06-01 21:14
MidwestTom, I personally believe that in today's "gimme,gimme,gi mme" culture and a world of dwindling resources commandered by a cadre of materialistic swine that having more than two children is irresponsible, especially to the kids who have to attempt to navigate the pitfalls that are being perniciously laid before them. However, until and if a national policy of tax breaks for those adhering to a policy of "reproducing" yourselves is implemented and tax increases for those who don't, I couldn't advocate limiting child support to two children for mothers, married or not. You want to be the guy who tells a three year old kid, "sorry, we've spent over a trillion dollars on a couple of wars but we don't have enough left to provide your breakfast." Let's tax the hell out of the rich, stop fighting senseless wars, quit pandering to Wall Street cretins, eliminate off shore tax havens, etc, before we start taking the Cheerios out of a kids mouth whose sole crime is that he was born.
+4 # Homer 2011-06-01 14:14
Our elected public officials in Washington, and also state, keep speaking of cutting the budget, targeting SS and Medicare; Why don't they start with cutting their salaries? That to me, would be a good gesture of sharing......
+2 # boudreaux 2011-06-01 15:24
Homer you said it right,,,,electe d officials, we can elect them out of office and get them running like dogs with their tails tucked btw their legs..We need to vote them out and show them that they are NO BODIES with out us....
+2 # boudreaux 2011-06-01 15:17
Do they actually understand what they are doing to themselves, there will be a revolution that will be unlike any that they have ever heard of. No one will stand for this....I know I will stand with the people..
+2 # rm 2011-06-02 06:55
Hi Beloved, I wish there would be a revolution, but I'm afraid that there won't be. Too many americans still think that healthcare is a privilege that you earn and not a human right. The only right that is honored in the US is the right of capital -- that is the right of money and wealth to increase. Everything else is only the largess of capital, the privileges given to those who help capital grow.

The US is really a dystopia. We are still living off of the wealth created in the era of 1945 to 1975 when unions were strong, income taxes were steeply progressive, and manufacturing was the focus of business. Now America is a neoliberal dystopia. It is dominated by finance capital, the growth of money for its own sake. People simply don't count. Very soon the accumulated wealth of the the period of 1945 to 1975 will be gone. Then American will join the third world.
+4 # lisa d. 2011-06-01 16:32
typical GOP M.O.: protect them in the womb, and f**k 'em after they're born ...
+3 # fredboy 2011-06-02 15:56
Republicans hate the poor, especially poor children.
They have no empathy in their shallow, hallow souls.

This may seem incredible, but I swear it happened: A Republican neighbor and I were arguing on the sidewalk one day and, as if in a panic, he blurted "All welfare children should be born in prison! Every one of them!" That's the day my wife and I decided to sell our home and move elsewhere.

These people are evil to the core. Just being around them makes me feel filthy.
+2 # bobby t. 2011-06-02 18:38
i remember working for nyc welfare and a mother who had six or seven kids asked me about birth control. in those days, and maybe now, we were not supposed to tell our "clients" anything that had to do with family planning. well, being me, i gave her the address of the dorothy sanger clinic where she could get a free diaphram.
i believe that the biggest problem in the world today is population growth, and the problems that come with that. china is the only country in the world to address that problem by state command. one family, one child. it is a tough stance to make, but they made it, and by doing so, saved millions of their people from starving to death. the birth rate in america has gone down, which is good. if religions really cared for people, they would be for family planning. but then religions don't get more parishoners for their massive donations. they don't get slave labor in their prison laundries, etc.
over population is over insanity. it must stop. it is the single most important problem, and every one in congress knows it but is afraid of the church and the repercussions of advocating birth control and abortion rights. there is a special place in hell reserved for cowards.

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