Cramer, House Republicans, fail yet again to support critical program for low-income children
Vote puts politics above common sense
The Senate Finance Committee, by a voice vote, approved yesterday (Oct. 4) on a bipartisan basis a five-year extension of the critical Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). After hours of partisan bickering, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is Kevin Cramer’s only committee, approved on a party-line vote a CHIP extension that attached unnecessary strings that will likely delay a final bill.
As Finance Committee Chair Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said after his committee’s vote, the bipartisan agreement is “a prime example of what government can accomplish when both parties work together.” While Senators still have some work left on the bill, “Republicans and Democrats are working together and expect to agree on financing before the bill goes to the Senate floor.”
Congressional candidate Ben Hanson stated, in response: “I applaud the Senate for coming together and working to put this important issue above party politics. While there is still work to do, it’s heartening to see Senators working across the aisle for the benefit of America’s children.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to cut funding from unrelated health programs, including Medicare, to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“House Republicans’ refusal to abandon their partisan position is going to lead to more unnecessary delays, placing at risk the health and well-being of millions of low-income children. Rather than focusing on yet another last ditch effort to rip away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans — and tens of thousands of North Dakotans — Cramer should put in at least a little bit of effort to perform the basic obligations of his job and protect low-income children.
“If he can’t be bothered to do at least that much, he should probably consider finding a new line of work.”
- In North Dakota, 4,955 low-income children are enrolled under CHIP. [Federal CHIP Funding: When Will States Exhaust Allotments?, MACPAC, June 2017, Table 3, at page 7.]
- Projected federal CHIP allotment for fiscal year 2018 in North Dakota is projected to be $21.2 million, with available funding projected to expire May 2018. [Id., Table 2, at page 4.]
- As of 2016, the uninsured rate for children aged 0–18 in North Dakota is 5%. [Health Insurance Coverage of Children 0–18, Kaiser Family Foundation.]