CAROL VOIGTS: Take action to preserve CHIP

TO THE EDITOR:

The Republican Party has historically branded itself as the party of fiscal responsibility and family values.

Actions speak louder than words. Now that the GOP is in full control of our federal government we get to see their true colors. The deficit hawks have flown the coop as both the U.S. House and Senate tax bills, currently being reconciled in committee, will add an estimated $1.5 trillion to the deficit in order to primarily benefit rich donors and large corporations.

While frantically working to ram through this unpopular tax overhaul, Republicans allowed CHIP program authorization to lapse. CHIP has been a popular, uncontroversial program and has had bi-partisan support since it was first enacted in 1997. It provides health coverage for the children of the working poor — families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but still find insurance unaffordable.

Unless Congress acts, letters could soon be sent to Michigan CHIP enrollees warning them that they may lose coverage. A statement released from a spokesperson for Democratic Sen. Gary Peters reads in part: “I’ve heard firsthand from physicians, pediatricians and healthcare providers in our state, who fear what this uncertainty could mean for the patients they serve.”

The party of family values is playing chicken with the healthcare of 116,000 innocent, deserving, Michigan children, while prioritizing a tax plan that will further enrich elite families who spend their days traveling on private jets and lounging around the pool. Republicans are showing us exactly which families they value.

As someone who spent an entire career as a teacher of our Michigan children, I have seen how CHIP has been nothing but beneficial to families. I am rueing the demise of such a wonderful program. I urge everyone who cares about this to contact your Congressman to act to preserve CHIP.

Carol Voigts

Wellston

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