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Bishop Statement on SCHIP Vote

January 15, 2009
Op-Ed and Speech

Utah manages its CHIP program well, but this bill would penalize our state and Utah children.  It has at least three major flaws.  First, it requires Utah taxpayers to fund coverage for adults in other states. Second, it doesn't target help to poor kids first, but instead to wealthier kids.  Third, the funding mechanism relies on the false assumption that we're somehow going to have 20 million new smokers to pay for this thing.

This bill was written in secret, brought out at the last minute, with no amendments and no real input.  The Speaker has shown she is not interested in crafting good bi-partisan policy, so this has to be just political show.

There are better ways to fund childrens' health insurance, and I'm on the record supporting efforts that would target help to poor kids first, prevent abuse by illegals, not raise taxes, and would rely on a stable funding source that isn't a sham. In fact, I voted for that proposal today, but unfortunately it didn't pass.