Barbour Opposes CHIP Measure

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

A bill in the United States Congress would more than double the amount of funds provided for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. So why is Gov. Haley Barbour asking Mississippi's senators to vote against it?

Created in 1997, CHIP provides free insurance to children whose families make too much to be eligible for Medicaid, but too little to buy private insurance.

A U.S. Senate bill is trying to increase the funds. A good thing, right? Barbour says it actually isn't.

"The main effect of this bill is to give taxpayer-funded health insurance to middle class families," said Barbour.

Barbour says Mississippi has never received enough money to cover every eligible child. Instead, the state has depended on leftovers from wealthier states who don't use all their money.

"The starting point is that every state should receive or be guaranteed that they will get enough money to cover all the children under 200 percent of poverty before we start letting New York and New Jersey cover children whose families make $80,000 something a year," Barbour said.

Even though the governor does admit the bill would mean more money for the CHIP program here in this state, he says it would still fall woefully short of covering every child who needs the insurance program.

But the Children's Defense Fund says it's the governor's own fault all eligible children aren't covered.

"Children will be uncovered in Mississippi because of the burdensome criteria of going face to face for certification and re-certification. If we get rid of that, more children in Mississippi would be covered," said Pam Shaw of the Children's Defense Fund.

The governor said he hopes an amendment can be worked out in the Senate to cover all children below 200 percent of the poverty level. A vote on the issue is expected this week.

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  • by c. Location: meridian on Jan 27, 2009 at 05:42 PM
    Why is he asking them to vote against it? Becaaause... like other 'Conservatives' he believes poor people are poor because they are lazy, and that if those 8 year olds want health insurance they should just go get a job like everybody else? Is this a trick question?
  • by Jody Location: Meridian on Jan 27, 2009 at 02:50 PM
    I really hate that Barbour was able to pass himself off as a "good ole boy" and get elected. We get the government we deserve. Start thinking before you vote!
  • by John Bonifant Location: Daleville on Jan 27, 2009 at 01:12 PM
    I'm against the governor's proposed tax increase on the sick. What you mean you didn't know the governor wanted to get more money from the sick? Well nicotine addiction is a sickness and those who use tobacco products are sick and need help. I was always taught it is wrong to kick a man when he is down. I think his proposed tobacco tax increase is shameful. What he should be proposeing are programs to help alcoholics, drug addicts and yes those with nicotine addictions also. Good health programs like these would cut health care insurance, cut hospital use and medcical expenditures - fewer hospital rooms needed = fewer hospitals needed = fewer employees needed = money saved. And let's don't forget the legal system. Anyone familiar with the legal system will tell you the majority of cases brought before court are alcohol and drug related. Volumes of money could be saved by cutting back on court, jail and penitentiary expenditures.
  • by a.j. Location: philadelphia on Jan 27, 2009 at 11:03 AM
    I say let's impose a huge tax on beer and liquor along with the increase on tobacco tax. kill several birds with one stone.
  • by Del Location: Newton, MS. on Jan 27, 2009 at 09:45 AM
    Cut the Gov,'s salary to help the children. The Gov, does not care for the poeple in this state except the rich and himself.
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