House Republicans finally passed a bill to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years, but their bill raises Medicare premiums and would result in 700,000 people losing their health insurance.
The final vote was 242-174, as only 15 Democrats voted for the bill. Until now, CHIP has been a bipartisan program, and there was never a thought of harming someone else to pay for health insurance coverage for poor children.
In the world of Donald Trump’s Republican Party, that has all changed. Everything is partisan, and every piece legislation is an opportunity to harm.
The harm comes to 700,000 people who are going to lose their health insurance:
BREAKING: A hostage-taking version of CHIP just passed House.
It would be paid 4 by 700k low-income ppl losing their insurance. No way. RT.
— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) November 3, 2017
If Republicans get away with raising Medicare premiums to pay for CHIP, the door is then open to premiums being raised for a variety of reasons as Republicans are eyeing up privatization of Medicare as their long-term goal, but the immediate problem is the nearly three quarters of a million people who will have no health insurance if this bill is signed into law.
The Senate still hasn’t agreed on how to pay for CHIP, so it is likely that the legislation will change. Republicans are finding new and different ways to rob people of their health care, and it won’t stop until Democrats take back control of Congress.