Inhofe, Coburn Choose
Tobacco Lobby over
Senators continue to ignore their own
Republican rhetoric on family values.
"More and more
The bipartisan proposal to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) passed the Senate with 68 votes and includes an additional $35 billion over five years. This will preserve coverage for the 6.6 million children currently enrolled and expand coverage to an additional 3.2 million uninsured, low-income American children.
The additional cost of the program will be paid for by an increase in the tobacco tax. The bill now goes to President Bush, who has threatened a veto.
"If the Senate is called on to override a Presidential veto, I will call on Senators Inhofe and Coburn to reconsider their position and vote next time for
The CHIP funding bill is a classic example of how bipartisan cooperation can get results. In order to gain passage, both sides were forced to compromise before a final agreement was reached.
A similar bill was passed by the Oklahoma State Legislature earlier this year. The All Kids Act, authored by Senator Tom Adelson (D-Tulsa) and Sen. Brian Crain, (R-Tulsa), increased the investment in our state's health care system which will be matched by increased federal Medicaid dollars.
Oklahoma currently ranks 44th among the 50 states in children's access to health care and is tied at 50th with Mississippi for our overall healthcare system according to the Commonwealth Fund, a non-partisan private foundation dedicated to increasing access to healthcare.