Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Walberg on Children's Health

Just a quick post right now, but I hope to talk about this a lot more soon.

The House is currently debating the renewal of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The program provides health care coverage for nearly seven million American children, with better benefits than many private alternatives and at a lower cost.

I was listening to National Public Radio a little while ago, and in their story on the renewal of the program, they quoted our very own Congressman Tim Walberg. He said:
The bill is an absolute train wreck that will lead to a nanny-state government-run health care system.
You can listen to the NPR story here (the SCHIP part starts around the two-minute mark of the audio clip).


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The NPR link netted me close to 5 minutes worth of headlines but not Walberg (I'm not that disappointed though).

I went to the Wikipedia you provided and then from it to the Houston Chronicle article written by some Heritage Foundation guys.

Conservatives and NeoCons keep saying that programs like this and universal health care are the government running health care - but the way I see it it's more like the voucher programs that conservatives love when it comes to schools! Nobody is seriously considering having doctors and nurses be government employees - that's socialist health care. These programs are about social insurance. I'm not going to cry if some insurance companies don't like it.

Another thing, to take off on Walberg's statement you quoted . . . these ultraconservatives like Walberg think it's fine and dandy to have God be the nanny, and then to have school vouchers, but the government gets attacked for looking out for the people. So it's fine to turn oneself over to God and church, but it's horrible to have a government care for you.

Well, since I don't believe that there is a God, then to me there's no safety net in heaven, so all we have is here, as imperfect as it may be. It's easy for god-fearing conservatives to badmouth governmental care when they already have skydaddy (who doesn't cost any taxes, maybe just tithes, and is perfect).
Walberg sure seems to love his socialist health care, first from the state of Michigan, now from Uncle Sam. Shouldn't he take a principled stance and give up his coverage? After all, if barebones coverage for poor and middle class kids is evil, the goldplate plan he receives must be Satan's work.
Very telling letter in today's Battle Creek Enquirer:

Walberg's loyalty lies with Bush, not district

In the July 26 edition of the Enquirer, I read an article concerning U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, and his position on bringing funding to W.K. Kellogg Airport.

Initially, Walberg contacted Battle Creek Unlimited and spoke of his solid support for this funding and told them how hard he had worked to get it. But lo and behold, he voted against it because, he said, he promised to support any veto by President Bush of Democratic-drafted spending bills. What kind of reasoning is this, or is it reasoning at all? It sounds like blind obeisance to one who has driven this country into what may be called a generational debtors prison for ourselves, our children and grandchildren.

The improvements to W.K. Kellogg Airport would contribute to the economic well-being of Calhoun County and create good jobs which, in the end, would cover the costs and be good for us all. However, Walberg has pledged allegiance to the "decider" of America and is now trying to hoodwink us. Who does he think he represents, the "decider" who has a 28 or 29 percent favorable rating, or the people of this district, including Calhoun County? It seems if he was asked if he has trouble making up his mind on various issues, in this case the airport, his answer would be "Well, yes and no. I must listen to the 'decider.'" What a sorry state of affairs. Does Walberg deserve to occupy the 7th District seat in Washington?

Tom Cook

When they take a 'blood oath' to stand with our soldiers in Iraq, then I will respect Walberg and the group of 150 that stand with Bush against We The People.
The CitPat has this letter in the Voice of the People letters to the Editor from Tim Walberg posted today.

Bill to help poor was train wreck
Monday, August 06, 2007
In a nation as wealthy as ours, there is no reason children should ever go hungry or without essential medical care. I believe our society will be judged by how we treat our poor, sick and elderly.

These are principles embraced by Democrats and Republicans, though the means by which we attempt to achieve these goals are dramatically different.

This contrast has never been more evident than last week in the House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, we considered re-authorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which began in 1997 as a way to let states provide health insurance for children in low-income families whose total family income exceeded eligibility for Medicaid.

Over the past few years, renegade states have expanded the program to provide health care for children well above the eligibility line, thus spiking costs. Because of such egregious violations of the spirit of the original legislation, significant reforms are needed to make sure the program is really benefiting the intended recipients, children of low-income families.

I support renewing SCHIP to aid children in low-income families, but the bill that Democratic leadership brought to the floor and ultimately passed is an absolute train wreck.

The proposed bill has a litany of problems, among them:

Some 3.2 million seniors in 22 states will lose their Medicare Advantage benefits, including 14,183 in the 7th Congressional District, resulting in higher co-pays, a loss in specific health-care benefits, less quality and choice of programs and fewer choice among doctors.

Taxes on every private health-insurance plan will be raised, resulting in a money drain from the Medicare trust fund.

Health-care providers who offer home health-care services, nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation services will see reduced reimbursements.

Beneficiaries would have limited access to wheelchairs, requiring patients who are prescribed a wheelchair to wait one month.

Illegal immigrants would be allowed and encouraged to apply for SCHIP and Medicaid benefits by the elimination of a requirement that persons applying for such services show proof of citizenship or nationality.

This bill takes a program designed to aid children of low-income families and instead reduces access to quality health care to all Americans.

Providing health insurance for children who otherwise can't afford it is worthy of the resources and time of Congress, but it must not be accomplished at the expense of seniors, working families and middle-class taxpayers.

Rather than pursuing a bill that will harm many Americans, this Congress should reform SCHIP and go back to its original intent: meeting the needs of children of low-income families.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg represents the 7th Congressional District, which includes Jackson County.
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