Side by side across the divide

Two U.S. representatives from separate parties today issued statements explaining their votes on the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

GOP Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen issued the following statement in explanation of his vote to sustain President George W. Bush’s veto of SCHIP:

“It should be unacceptable to any New Jerseyan that forty-three percent of SCHIP grants in New Jersey are used to insure adults, while approximately 119,000 children living in households with incomes below $41,000 remain completely uninsured in New Jersey!”said Frelinghuysen, who explained that he supports SCHIP and voted for it originally but disapproves of its implementation.

“New Jersey has a 69% participation rate for families with incomes below 200% of the poverty line while our neighbors in New York and Pennsylvania have participation rates of 88 and 93%, respectively!” said Frelinghuysen.”New Jersey ranks 44th among the states in the percentage of low-income children with health insurance. And, when combined Medicaid and SCHIP enrollment increased nationally between 2005 and 2006, New Jersey’s enrollment declined by nearly 40,000 children!”

As one of the representives who unsuccessfully voted to override the president’s veto, Democratic U.S. Rep. Donald Payne said in a statement, “I am deeply disappointed that the Republicans in Congress sided with the President in blocking our efforts to provide health care coverage to children through the highly successful State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).The same Administration which continues to spend billions of dollars on our disastrous involvement in Iraq refuses to work with Congress to help children and their families in New Jersey and the rest of the nation.”

Side by side across the divide