tv Democrats on Childrens Health Program CSPAN December 20, 2017 10:23am-11:01am EST
and allows them to earn higher wages. i simple example, mr. president, you go to a construction site and there's two guys working. what is and is working a backhoe and others working a shovel. they are both digging a hole. they are both moving dirt. which one do you think is getting paid more lax i got operating the tobacco is always making more money because he is able to be so much more productive than any human can be with just his hair hands at a shovel. when we make it more affordable for business to go out and buy new tractors, new equipment, new machinery, that gives them the chance to put those more valuable tools enhance other workers. somewhat also have to build those things. someone has the job at caterpillar of making that tractor. someone has the job of making that vehicle. someone has the job -- >> good morning. on the chair of the democratic women's working group, and we will be joined by leader pelosi in a few moments.
we have with me today brenda lawrence and jackie spear were also leaders in the -- and kathy castor who was a very prominent member of the energy commerce committee from florida. well, christmas time is here and why republicans are giving ultra wealthy folks and big corporations extravagant presents in the ways of billions of dollars, they are putting coal in the stockings of everybody else. in that regard we are here to talk about the children's health insurance program, also known as chip, that provides essential medical services like routine checkups, immunizations, dental and vision prescriptions, and emergency services to 9 million children of hard-working families who don't qualify for medicaid and can't afford
insurance. kids are going to get kicked off chip if we do not immediately reauthorize it, and sadly, republicans are taking a page from the ebenezer scrooge playbook. they propose the continued funding chip by rating the prevention and public health fund that pays for very, very valuable things like children's immunization and vaccine. poisoning and diabetes prevention. so keeping with the holiday spirit, democrats say bah humbug to that. we demand a better deal. ones that will reauthorize chip without causing harm to other valuable programs. and with that i turn this over to our vice chair of the democratic working women's group, brenda. >> brenda warren.
>> yes. >> i want to think the leadership of lois frankel and all those who stand with us. today as we oppose the republican leadership use of ship as a pawn in your in negotiations in holding millions of desperate families and children hostage. not only are they putting coal literally putting coal in the stockings of families, they are also holding us hostage. republicans failed to show compassion for families and children who access to critical health care is a matter of life or death. chip plays an important role providing children across the country with health care that they need. without chip, over 9 million children, 9 million children nationwide, including 100,000 in michigan alone, will lose access
to doctor checkups, immunization, and basic health care. now, let me be clear on what this means. without chip in the lives of these children, our state government will begin to send letters to parents in january, next month, telling them you cannot go to your doctor with your children because, people there will be no insurance for you. chips impact is particularly felt in communities of color. together, chip and medicaid help to cover 92% of hispanic, 54% of all black children nationwide. chip is one that we cannot play games with. as members of congress, we take an oath and we have a duty to protect the nation's children,
the most vulnerable, and our future. we need to support millions of families who rely on this program. this is not the right way. we work together in a bipartisan fashion to pass this important piece of legislation, and as we move into the new year we must guarantee that these valuable resources that our children need, they are not resources. they need health care. they receive it, at the week as the country and we as a congress show the compassion that we say that we have. a country that looks after all equally, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, republicans put the coal call back in your pocd let's give america a gift for christmas. >> all right, thank you. >> i would now like to bring
congresswoman jackie spear from california to speak. >> thank you, brenda. thank you, lois. thank you all for being here. you know, this is the ultimate bad christmas carol story. this may be the most shameful day in the history of congress. today in the house we're going to shakedown hard-working americans for a 1.3, or 2.3, depending, depending on how you count it, trillion dollar tax cut. and at the same time we're going to put 9 million kids in this country at risk. and these 9 million kids are not eligible for medicaid, and their families can't afford the affordable care act because they have to pay a certain amount, and the subsidized amount
doesn't cover the cost. so they are truly out in the cold. so what what we are doing herey is basically saying, wealthy americans, big fat christmas present for you. tiny tim, we're taking your crotch away from you, and all the other kids in this country, and we are putting a lump of coal into your christmas stocking. shameful. it should not be happening in this country so much wealth and so much greatness that we would allow these children, and the 370,000 pregnant women in this country that also rely on chip, that we would shut them out of health care. so let's turn this into a good news christmas story. let's be able to say god bless us, everyone.
>> hello. i'm congresswoman kathy castor from florida trip i serve as a vice ranking member of the energy and commerce committee, and we are here to speak directly to parents and families and pediatricians and children's hospitals, enabling new cares about health of america's children today, to say we're going to continue to stand up for our kids and families across america, to the outrageous efforts of our republican colleagues to give huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and big corporations, and let kids go by the wayside. it's unconscionable what they have done. and this this is a first time e history of the children's health insurance program that the republicans did not operate in a bipartisan fashion, and they let the initiative lapse. when you think back across the
history of chip, i was adopted in the late 1990s, we have never had a multi-month lapse in funding for states and families across america. this is the worst-case scenario. and let me tell you what is happening all year long from my seat at the energy and commerce committee. republicans were consumed the whole first part of the year with ripping health coverage away and families. they knew they had a september 30 deadline to reauthorize this important initiative. and they put it off and they put it off and they put it off. we had hoped we would return from the august recess with the ability to sit down and talk about the reauthorization. it's always been bipartisan, but they were taken away by the graham-cassidy initiative to again rick coverage away from families. so tick tick tick into september
when we got to the september 30 deadline. we did make some progress on the substance of the chip bill, the length of the reauthorization, but the pay-fors became the sticking point and they went, republicans went back to their old recipe of trying to come on the one hand, say we're going to help kids, but they're pay-fors rick coverage away from families at the same time. medicare going after the public health fund that helps fund vaccinations across america and helps us tackle the opioid addiction crisis. so this was a nonstarter, and they knew that and they jammed a bill through in early october here in the house. and at that point in time they became so consumed with their tax bill, the tax benefits to millionaires and billionaires and big corporations that again
they have let kids out in the cold. well, here we are and where states all across america that are now having to send out notices to families to say we don't know if chip is going to be there for you. these are working families. they pay the copayment. and now republicans are going to instead give them this, give them a lump of coal. that's not acceptable in this country. this is not consistent with our values. at the end of the year people want their kids, they want to have economic security. the want to understand that their daughter, their son, their newborn baby can go see the pediatrician, can get the checkups that they need. that's smart policy. it's always been smart policy. this is a real shame that they will have to live with, and it's important to parents and the families and hospitals and everyone who cares about the future of this country,
understand the choice that our republican colleagues made. tax breaks and new loopholes for millionaires and billionaires not paid for. in fact, just a few months ago they passed the bill that wasn't paid for. were going to have a very significant emergency relief package, hopefully. not paid for. and yet kids are holding to a different standard and we can pay for. their bipartisan papers. and it's time to act. if we don't act today or tomorrow, shame on the republicans for taking us to this place. thank you. >> is she coming back? okay, we will wait for the later but we will take questions from anybody who has any. we had a question here. [inaudible]
>> -- a short-term patch for the duration. as the program has expired, will that create real concrete problems over the next two or three weeks? >> it certainly would. because chip needs to the reauthorize unable to your basis. it's not appropriate to patch for one month. over at cms they are already spending just kind of some leftover funds that they had. we've seen just in the past two days, the state of alabama has said a team to begin to send out notices. i know my home state of florida, we run out of money at the end of january. if they do not do a multi-year reauthorization they will be leaving these families in the lurch and that will be a shame. >> yes, in the back. [inaudible] >> are there any signs that
there's bipartisan agreement in place to get this done? >> i'll tell you what i was told this morning, , a ranking member of appropriations, she was told in discussions are not even going to start until the tax bill is concluded. >> anyways, our leader will not talk about chip in the maybe she can answer your question. >> is this the barbara boxer thing? excuse me for stepping up but we're trying to get, keep government open. let me just talk about chip for a moment because this is a subject that many of us have been involved with for a long time, the health and well being of our children is the primary
responsibility for those of us in congress. for me personally my motivation to even be in politics is the one in five children live in poverty in our country go to sleep hungry at night in america the greatest country that have existed in the history of the world. that we should be addressing their health issue, issues without question and even if you are oblivious to the concerns, and it's amazing how much patience people have with people suffering. the threshold is so high. but nonetheless, this issue should have been done by september 30 when the reauthorization in did. the republicans, because they wanted to pay for it in very strange way, we couldn't come to agreement on it. and the reason that we have a problem is they were making children pay for children's health. for example, i'm really uncomfortable up here. they were making children pay
for children, for example, the walden bill which they still continue to put forth is a bill that says an order to pay for five-year children's, schip, so far schip, we've been fighting this fight for so many years, five year reauthorization of chip must be paid for. it centered and it must be paid for. at the same time that republicans have given i nearly $1.5 trillion tax break permanently, and paid for, to corporate america. so where is their value system? corporations are people, okay, so corporate people could get more attention and little children. but does that ratio of difference, that's , that's int. it's unconscionable. so anyway, right now again we have been working for a few months to find respectable
pay-fors for this recognize has be paid for. we are working in a bipartisan way to get that done, but nonetheless republicans are still insisting on putting forth the walden bill which is we're going to take this, we will use money that would be used for children's childhood inoculation, my friend, michigan -- i was thinking of flint but she's not, but nonetheless, the flint area, lead poisoning, all this kind of issues, they're taking that money to pay for children's health insurance program. where saying that, get out of here. i mean really, what are you thinking, or not thinking. so anyway that is what has held it up now for nearly three months, and it's really unfortunate because as has been said by my colleagues, , states are running out of money. some states have already went out of money. we must do this, we must do it very soon, and again they are
sticking with the bad play. that was a scene plan to put on the floor a while back that we all voted against because it was cannibalizing children's health care in order to pay for other children, health care, another version of children's health care. what was the question? >> what do we do if the cr is going to keep government going? >> did you want to formulate -- does that -- [inaudible] >> government will be open by the republicans because they have a boat. they have the house, the sin and the white house. so they control weather, is open. we are very proud of unity have in our caucus, 100% yesterday against their terrible tax bill which has implications on the budget side as well, and we are waiting to see what they put forth. we have very serious concerns
about what they might have in that cr. more than you want to know on the subject? the question is about parity. we have an agreement, a budget agreement that we would have parity. that means whatever you increase defense by, you increase domestic discretionary budget by. they said 54 defense, 37 domestic discretionary. that's not a good math. $17 billion difference. especially when you recognize that domestic discretionary is one-third of that is homeland security, veterans affairs, anti-terrorism activities of the justice department and the state department, 34% is about. we are having that fight on the numbers because, and we have bipartisan suggestions on how to spend 17 billion come whether it's opioids, veterans, national
institute of health, very bipartisan initiative for what those resources could be invested. that part of the discussion, they have to in their own caucus come up with a cr when you have the votes. so far they haven't. you have to ask them, but my aniston is now the king has been kicked down to 5:00 tonight where they believe they will meet for they will see what version they put forth. the other piece of it is disastrous state since on the supplemental, totally inadequate in terms of puerto rico and the virgin islands. so that's problematic as well, whereas other states are being treated well at texas don't think it's enough. so again probably a question better asked in the republican caucus but as far as we're concerned we have seen anything to reach out to us that we would support. do you follow it? >> i want to ask other negotiations come have you reached negotiations on chip
before? >> we have people who are very knowledgeable about the specifics and the ramifications of any change. they might get a chip patch and how that has funded has ramifications as well. when i i say patch, like a short-term chip, , but we should be doing short-term. we should be addressing the proper pay-fors in order to have certainty as to the people can provide health care to our children, to our children, all of these children are our children. they are america's children. you have one, okay. >> on the tax bill, republicans think this will help them win elections in 2018. do you think that? >> they think that. [laughing] [inaudible]
>> we haven't seen any bill yet to that extent, but it isn't up to us. it's up to them. we have never supported shutting down government, but they have the votes and they have the signature. so they have the power. and just to remind when government was shut down before, the current speaker of the house, the current head of, what is he, the office of management and budget, that all voted to shut down government. and when the vote came to open up government 17 days later they voted to keep it shut down. so you know where they're coming from. yes, sir. [inaudible] >> yes, i would imagine. i don't know. you have to ask them. [inaudible] >> let me say that would probably be a course of action that might work for them. now, to hear the senate talk or
to hear certain senators talk, we left issues that relate to health care and all the other things on there. i don't know that would be the case. the question is, we pass, coast to the senate, they put on health care, except with the promise was? it comes back year. to the republican support that? do you really think the republicans will support that? probably admit a list approach would be wiser for them but i don't give them advice. -- a minimalist approach. my colleagues, anything else? >> going back to the tax bill,. [inaudible] do you expect republicans have similar issues on this tax will? >> let me just say no
equivalence on the subject. when we did the affordable care act we had scores of hearings, took hundreds of amendments, a couple hundred probably of republicans, took some modified, reject rejects him, just when we treated democratic amendments. we had a full airing of this and every chance i get i want to make people know that there have bill that they have presented that will affect the economy to the tune of trillions of dollars for which they that no hearing, no expert testimony. we wish they could listen to the young people, the people in wheelchairs, people with disabilities we heard from you have to as to what it will do in their lives. and to listen to health care professionals, or even to their own people. the person who was a master, the master trickle-down economics that anybody who tells you that this is going to pay for itself, it's not true. it's nonsense.
it's bs pic except to use the whole world in an opening. an open hearing that the democrats had because the republicans refused to hear the truth about their bill. the other statement that was made yesterday by the former head of an institution, expert in these matters said anybody who tells you that this is for the middle class, it's completely untrue. 86% of the benefits go to the top 1%. 86% of benefits the top 1%. so they will try to message it. i would say they were able to mischaracterize what the affordable care act was. i i would say take some responsibility for the fact that we thought others would be messaging it and we probably should been doing a a better j, but that clearly, that when people understood what it was about, it has broad support. for them, when these people who
are have pre-existing conditions and families and stress and the rest of it say to me why are they come how cruel can to be that they're putting, stripping, possibly stripping 139 people out of the affordable care act, why are they doing this? why? to give a tax break to the rich, to give a tax break to corporate america. in some instances to send jobs overseas. that's who they are. that's in their dna. trickle-down economics, and it is trickling all over the middle class. it's not giving them any benefits. and it never did. under george w. bush. we've had this fish prints in recent memory and we without ir the back of that. any of my colleagues want to weigh in? >> has the democratic caucus decided to replace congressman conyers, the ranking member?
[inaudible] >> i don't know. no, yes, jerry nassar. we had two excellent candidates, 25 was excellent candidates. it was wonderful to see the presentations in their nominations, but thank you for asking because i didn't even know. came right over here. >> yes, , sir. >> just a note, val demings fill the vacancy on the committee and that was approved this might as well. a law enforcement officer is chief of orlando, florida,, val demings were so proud and she'll bring such an important voice to the judiciary committee. and i congratulate jerry nassar on winning, both jerry on both campaigns. >> with the repeal of the individual mandate and that's become popular, now own obamacare, is that correct and how do you feel about them owning this?
>> it's not a question of owning. their owning the of obamacare. we don't agonize over these things. we organized and that's our motto. don't agonize, organized we keep on fighting because we have to mitigate for the damage that they doing in the lives of the american people. some of people said yesterday pre-existing metal condition you couldn't get in church. it was so completely unaffordable. then that went away, and now many more people, millions of people more be subjected to that discrimination. so in any event, they may have won a battle yesterday. i think he will be -- we will be continuing this fight. >> one quick
thing. it should be lost in anyone the because of the child's health insurance program and the affordable care act, we've reached historic levels of insurance for our kids.
that means they get to see their pediatrician on a regular basis. they get it all apart and checkups and, this is good for america. so we will be able to watch and continue our fight for america's kids, as states inform families that chip is at risk and our kids are at risk. >> i just want to add, in addition to families all across america that a been hit so hard with the overt epidemic, particularly children, we in new hampshire have a skyrocketing foster children now, children that are being raised by grandparents who were in the foster care, that's why children's health insurance and coverage for families is so important. this is the only access that many of my people have to treatment for opioid addiction and it's the only access the
heifer health care coverage. and so i think our colleagues on the other side of the aisle talk the talk about opioids, and the president talks about this being an emergency, but we don't see them walking the walk in terms of taking care of families all across this country who need treatment for opioid addiction, and their children that are being left behind. >> back to government funding. the american people since congress washington to fund the government, and how do you answer the criticism that congress has been unable to do its most basic job in its funding, weeklong, month-long increments. >> was you were asking us? why don't you take that question to the speaker of the house? because all they have succeeded in doing is giving tax breaks to the wealthy get but the question is well considered because the fact is they are
anti-governance. and so next step is to underfund medicare, , medicaid. they talk about even recently this week raising the age or social security. so there is a role, since the beginning of our country our history, the senate debate of how much government, how much federal, which local, how much state. but this is anti-governance, just as they stay starve the beast. who is the beast? the american people. starve the beast. so they have not been living up to their responsibilities and that's the fight we have. let's find a way to find common ground on how we invest in our future, reform our tax code, to create growth, create good paying jobs, to again a better deal, better jobs, better wages, a better future. and that's what this debate will be about and that's what election will be about. so to the question about
republican say this would be a good issue, republican say this would be a a big issue for then this campaign. of a tax both as a lowe's of almost anything that has been put forth, about one-third of the american people about similar to the amount of people who support president trump at this time. the number is the same. so if they think that this bill is a good political argument for them, let them think that. >> any other questions? go ahead. >> quite often the democrats considering for the chip bill. i know you're against the -- are the anyone's better being considered a? >> i don't know what -- is wendell here? >> we have stefanie murphy. >> you know, there are all sorts of bipartisan pay-fors, and the
republicans have not been willing to even sit down and had have a good healthy dialogue on the trade-offs. some of pay-fors the proposed we could work with, but not the ones that go after vaccinations for opioid addiction or means test medicare without a hearing or discussion on it. the best one i've seen that ranking member pallone and are collect from florida stefanie murphy is put forth in the bill is in accounting change for medicare advantage that would fully fund it. but then i will go back again to here's a choice republicans put in front of the country, for america's kids. they are willing to find huge tax breaks and loopholes from millionaires and billionaires and the corporations, adding almost $2 trillion to the national to do that. they are not saying we need every offset for that, do we? we should offset it and we willing to work on the chip offsets that the event
outrageously not focused on really getting this done and that's the real shame. >> i'm going to close this out. first i would to thank all my colleagues. i been listening what everyone is saying. you know what? memories, i was thinking about my own son, i think about the time he come i woke up in the middle of the night hearing this horrible choking, coughing sound at a rushed him to the hospital and had to put into one of these little tense. for the time to get kicked in and on swing and he was bleeding, we rushed him to the doctor for stitches are when you broke -- woke up screaming with it here. of course a way to the pediatrician, and to think about it now, 9 million children's parents, here's what they will have to pay. anyway, we hope it will be a merry christmas, but we will see. thank you.