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Wednesday, October 31st 2007

Senator Cornyn On SCHIP

I’ve commented with brief support for Texas Senator John Cornyn in the past. More, I’ve posted on the ridiculous notion that his polling numbers give the Democrats some hope in 2008. With novice Mikal Watts out of the hunt for the Democratic Senate nomination (“hunt;” in actuality a nomination which would be difficult to give away), we’re left with only state representative Rick Noriega. Good luck.

And despite the tinge of sarcasm, I might actually be wishing Rep. Noriega luck in the election. I saw Senator Cornyn at his nephew’s wedding recently, and always have generally liked him. But what type of statement is this on the failed SCHIP renewal?

Mr. President, the families and the children in my state of Texas who are, unfortunately, put on edge and suffering some sense of anxiety wondering whether this important program will continue to serve the needs of low-income children, are being, unfortunately, taken advantage of and disadvantaged. Why in the world would Congress play this kind of game and make those that are the most vulnerable among us the most anxious about their future and whether they will be able to get the health care which everyone in Congress believes that low-income children ought to receive?

The emphasis is my own. My understanding is that Texas’ funding for SCHIP is secure for the next 2 years no matter the renewal infighting in Washington. Texas’ enrollment is capped for children of families at or below 150% of the poverty level. About as low as any state.

Noriega Responds To Cornyn On SCHIP

I know who his constituents are, but this SCHIP expansion vote (and more distressingly, his now enumerated reasoning behind such a vote) belies Senator Cornyn’s total disregard for the larger public good. Under Cornyn’s watch federal spending has increased faster than any Congresses since LBJ was in the White House. There’s no argument that the cost of the expansion to the Texas taxpayers is too great. At least not from Senator Cornyn considering his voting record.

[W]e have 700,000 low-income Texas children who qualify for Medicaid, who qualified for SCHIP, but who are currently not signed up and receiving those benefits. Instead, Congress is taking its eye off the ball and exploding this sensible program that deserves to be authorized by raising the eligibility cap to 300% of the poverty level, but doing nothing — I reiterate nothing — to insure that low-income children, including 700,000 low-income children in Texas, have coverage first before we grow the program to higher income levels and cover adults as well.

This is nonsensical from the Senator. It isn’t like Washington has failed. There is little enrollment effort to be done from DC. The ridiculous number of eligible children in Texas who are not on the SCHIP roster is a failure of the government in Austin and has absolutely nothing to do with the machinations in Washington.

Argue the SCHIP bill on the merits Senator Cornyn, get your facts in order, or get off the stage.

What can say after garbage like this? A vote is one thing, but to finally read his position for such a vote is another. Cheer, cheer for Rick Noriega I guess.