Contributed by Tom Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
The HillaryCare proponents in Congress are making good on their campaign promise.
Under the guise of helping children without health insurance, the advocates of a government-run, universal healthcare system for all Americans are pushing for a massive expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) - increasing the cost of this program to you, me, and all taxpayers.
If they succeed, this would be a giant first step toward making their vision of a socialist, Canadian-style healthcare system a reality in this country.
The House and Senate will consider legislation on SCHIP as early as next week, and it's urgent that you tell your Senators and Representative to oppose the expansion of SCHIP and the tax increases that would be required to pay for it.
SCHIP was originally designed to help low-income families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid gain access to health insurance for their children. The proposals being pushed by the HillaryCare advocates would increase the SCHIP income eligibility level from the current 200 percent of the federal poverty line (approx. $40,000 in annual income for a family of four) to 300 or even 400 percent of the federal poverty line (approx. $61,950 and $82,600 in annual income, respectively); might allow states to expand coverage even further to other individuals; andÂ might evenÂ increase existing benefits to a practically unlimited benefits package.
These proposals could triple spending on SCHIP, from $25 billion to as much as $75 billion over five years, and make more than 71 percent of American children - including many who already have private insurance - covered under either SCHIP or Medicaid.
To pay for this big-government healthcare expansion, its advocates have proposed increasing the federal cigarette excise tax by as much as 156 percent and raising taxes elsewhere. Trust me, this will be just the first of many tax increases to come as SCHIP, like virtually every other entitlement program before it, ends up costing more than expected and sucking up increasing amounts of your tax dollars!
After the failure of HillaryCare in the 1990's, the universal healthcare proponents have wised up. They know they can't impose a government takeover of America 's healthcare system - and the massive taxÂ increases needed to pay for it - all at once without provoking a resounding public outcry. Instead, they've adopted an incremental approach, where they will slowly expand existing government healthcare programs until they crowd out private insurance.
The backers of this plan think they can get all Americans dependent on the government for our healthcare before we know what hit us!
Please tell your Senators and Representative to opposeÂ legislation that wouldÂ expand SCHIP and increase the federal cigarette excise tax, or any other taxes, to pay for it.