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Cornyn statement in support of the State Children’s Health Insurance Fund reauthorization

Vows to protect Texas health care funds & oppose efforts to federalize health care

From the Office of Senator John Cornyn

August 15, 2007

Government - Senator Cornyn pictureWASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn July 30 made the following statement regarding his vote in support of beginning debate on legislation (S. 1893) to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP).

“By any standard, SCHIP has been a remarkable success. The rate of children in America living without health insurance dropped by 25 percent from 1996 to 2005, and approximately one million Texas children who would not get care otherwise have benefited.

“Reauthorization of SCHIP is extremely important to Texas , especially as our state strives to continue improving access to quality, affordable health care for children.

“It is my hope that the Senate can have a full and fair debate on this important issue this week. There are a number of areas in the proposed legislation which concern me, however, particularly how they would affect Texas . This proposed bill actually encourages the irresponsible use of funds at the state level, and punishes states, such as my home state of Texas , which have used this program judiciously and according to its initial intent. As written, Texas stands to lose more than $600 million dollars in federal health care funding for next year.

“Moreover, I’m afraid that some of my colleagues have forgotten the original intent of SCHIP, which is to help children in low-income families and not adults who are living well above the poverty level. By seeking to increase spending on SCHIP by roughly 300 percent, it seems clear that some in the Senate are viewing this bill as a gateway to a federally funded, government-run health care program, similar to Canada .

“It is for these and other reasons that I will be supporting an alternate bill to the one supported by the Democratic majority. This legislation will meet the needs of Texas and its children, while ensuring that a massive tax increase is not imposed on working families. I look forward to a full, fair and vigorous debate on this issue in the days ahead.”

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Armed Services, Judiciary and Budget Committees. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Refugees subcommittee and the Armed Services Committee’s Airland subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

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