Friday, September 21, 2007

Grassley's SCHIP Pleas Unheeded

A "frustrated" Sen. Charles Grassley (D-IA) is trying to swim up the Bush administration's roaring corporate-profits river as.... "Health plan for Iowa kids in jeopardy. Grassley asks Bush to accept deal on insurance funding."

The Decider announced in his press conference yesterday that he plans to veto the bipartisan State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation that would renew that program and expand it by $35 billion to cover an additional 3 million American children.... the increase to be paid for with increased tobacco taxes. Bush wants to expand it by just $5 billion.

There's that silly number again. Billions. Billions for the Iraq war. Billions in corporate profits for wealthy friends of George.... but not enough billions to insure the health of America's children.

It's simple really, The Decider explained his position.... "What I"m describing here is a philosophical divide that exists in Washington over the best approach for health care.... And, instead of encouraging people to drop private coverage in favor of government plans, we should work to make basic private health insurance affordable and accessible for all Americans."

That's political speak for putting more profits into the grasping paws of insurance and drug companies. Remember, many conservative Republicans have long wanted to rid the country of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other government-administered social net programs.

So, Grassley's frustration will continue as long as The Decider.... well, decides.... and Congress lets him.

Grassley also noted that Bush "was incorrect" during the press conference when he said the agreement would offer government help to children living in households with incomes of up to $83,000 a year. Grassley said that would not happen under the congressional proposal.

Grassley related that he had called the White House on Wednesday to ask if he and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) could have a personal meeting with the president to make an appeal.

He was told that the president was already planning on making a statement about SCHIP. An astounded Grassley asked them how that was possible when the details of the Senate compromise were not yet settled.

To quote, Grassley: "I said, 'How in the heck can you make a statement when you don't know what the deal is?' "

Grassley acknowledged that the conversation seemed to have little impact and that the administration failed to work with Congress to forge an agreement that both sides could accept.

Of course not. The Decider's mind was made up. No compromise would be good enough because it wouldn't benefit his corporate buddies.

Because of the The Decider's rigid and willfully-deceitful stance on the bipartisan SCHIP bill, Iowa (among other states) may not be able to pay October premiums for it's HAWK-I federal/state childrens' insurance program that is to expire September 30.

"I'm disappointed," Grassley said.

That doesn't even begin to cover it for the disgusted American people.

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