Engel Slams GOP For Politicizing CHIP, Children’s Health Care, & Community Health Centers

Nov 3, 2017

Engel Slams GOP For Politicizing CHIP, Children’s Health Care, & Community Health Centers

Washington, D.C.— Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, slammed House Republicans on Friday for politicizing the reauthorization of community health centers and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a historically bipartisan program that provides health insurance to 8.9 million American children.

Republicans allowed the programs’ funding to expire in September, and the bill they have offered to reauthorize it, H.R. 3922, includes an array of partisan provisions that would hurt Americans in other ways.

“Historically, CHIP and community health centers have been bipartisan priorities,” Engel said on the House Floor, “Yet my Republican colleagues have inexplicably taken these programs hostage, tucking into this bill new attempts to undermine Medicare, sabotage the ACA, and strip hardworking Americans of their health insurance. Not to mention, they’re trying to extort these harmful policy changes a month after they let CHIP and community health center funding expire. This is unconscionable.”

Other groups and organization that oppose the Republican reauthorization bill include AARP, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, SEIU, and the AFL-CIO.

Full text of Congressman Engel’s floor remarks can be found below, and video of the remarks can be found here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc_cJ2AOTzU

Mr. Speaker: I’m deeply saddened by the situation we’re in today.

Historically, CHIP and community health centers have been bipartisan priorities.

We’re talking about programs that provide health care for millions of American children and serve some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens.

Yet my Republican colleagues have inexplicably taken these programs hostage, tucking into this bill new attempts to undermine Medicare, sabotage the ACA, and strip hardworking Americans of their health insurance.

Not to mention – they’re trying to extort these harmful policy changes a month after they let CHIP and community health center funding expire.

This is unconscionable. Because, make no mistake, these cuts will hurt the same Americans that depend on CHIP and community health centers.

My Democratic colleagues and I care deeply about these programs. That’s why we have sounded the alarm for months, and urged the Majority to stop wasting time on ACA repeal and get to work on renewing these lifelines for American families.

I’m disappointed that didn’t happen, and I’m disappointed by what’s happening now.

I urge my colleagues to vote no, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Please note this press release was originally published on November 3, 2017 by Congressman Engel’s House of Representative’s office and posted to this website no sooner than 72 hours after initial publication.