By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 2, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The advent of socialized health care and massive taxpayer abortion subsidies may take the United States by stealth, unless the new health care bill proposed by Democrats Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Rep. John Dingle (D-MI) is vetoed by President Bush.
Today the US House of Representatives voted 225-204 for a massive expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a federal block grant for the states given by Congress designed ostensibly to give health insurance to children of poor working families. In practice, however, opponents of the funding argue, the program has become a backdoor into socialized medicine.
The Children’s Health and Medicare Plan (CHAMP) or H.R. 3162, was proposed earlier this year by Sen. Clinton and Rep. Dingle, and would add $50 billion to SCHIP’s $25 billion budget and morph it into a new entitlement program considerably more socialist, more anti-family and more anti-life than before.
The Clinton-Dingell plan as it exists in the House would cover households with incomes up to 400% above the poverty level, raising the current ceiling from 200%. The program, therefore, would cover 71% of all children in families of four making as much as $82,000.
However pro-life advocates are concerned about the anti-life legislation in CHAMP. The House bill removes Title V abstinence education funding, funds "family planning" services including abortifacient drugs, and guts the Unborn Child Rule, a regulation that allowed states to provide prenatal care to unborn children and their mothers under SCHIP.
"The new House bill’s ‘pregnant woman’ rule seeks to deny the existence of the child in utero while still covering the adolescent mother," stated Tony Perkins of Family Research Council. "This is a calculated move to open the door to federal taxpayer-funded abortions."
Perkins said that funding of abortions would also be massively expanded in the 17 states that currently permit taxpayer funded abortion. Pro-life Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) has submitted an amendment to codify the "Unborn Child Rule" although its addition to the Senate bill today is unlikely.
National Right to Life Committee has observed that CHAMP also will force senior citizens on Medicare to drop out of all private fee-for-service plans by 2010, which it says could lead to "involuntary euthanasia" due to certain health care rationing.
"The economic reality is that in order to provide Medicare coverage for the baby boom generation as it retires without unrealistically massive tax increases, government payments per beneficiary will not be able to keep up with medical inflation," NRLC explained.
"If the funds available for health care for senior citizens from all sources are so limited, the only possible result will be rationing."
The Senate is expected to pass its "compromise" version of the Clinton-Dingell CHAMP bill today. The "compromise bill" only expands the coverage ceiling to just 300% of the poverty line and increases the SCHIP budget by $35 billion.
Democrats plan to pay for the new SCHIP scheme by raising federal tobacco taxes to 85 cents and hiking taxes on health insurance companies by $2 per person, which Republicans charge would outrageously drive up the cost of premiums, which are already a burden on working Americans.
"The real plan here is to set the stage for a movement of the next gigantic step in the direction of what should be called Hillary-care—national socialized medicine," said Rep. Jerry Lewis, (R-CA).
Republicans have offered family-friendly alternatives to reform health insurance laws to give working class Americans tax relief to provide health insurance of their choice for themselves and their families. The "Every American Insured Act" sponsored by Obstetrician Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is said to be able to provide "refundable, advanceable tax credits ($2,000-individual/ $5,000 family) to everyone in America regardless of income or employer" in a "budget-neutral manner." President Bush also proposed a $15,000-per family tax deduction to help uninsured Americans buy health insurance on the open market, allowing rival insurers to compete to offer the best coverage at the best price.
However, Congressional Democrats seem intent on putting the United States one step further toward the same kind of unaccountable, universal, and rationed health care system that exists in Canada or in the United Kingdom.
In 1994, then First-lady, now Sen. Hillary Clinton’s first foray into establishing socialized medicine - "HillaryCare" - incurred a huge public relations defeat for the Clinton administration, prompting the American electorate to sweep Republicans into control of Congress.
SCHIP must be reauthorized by September 30 or the program will expire. President Bush has vowed to veto any legislation that removes Americans options for private health insurance and increases SCHIP’s budget by more than $30 billion.
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