October 31,2007

Baucus Comments After Cloture Vote On Kids’ Health

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) issued a brief
statement following today’s vote invoking cloture on a motion to proceed to updated legislation
to renew and improve the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“The CHIP bill that the Senate is now considering should become law – just as the original
Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act should have become law. CHIP clearly works to get low-income, uninsured American children the doctor’s visits and medicines they need to stay healthy. With Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and in the House, I’ve worked to sharpen this legislation’s focus on the lowest-income children eligible for CHIP and Medicaid, to curb adult coverage in CHIP, and to make even clearer that there is no CHIP coverage for illegal immigrants.

“It is apparent today that it will take more working together, more compromise, to get a Children’s Health Insurance Program bill into law this year. And for the sake of America’s
children, I’m going to push as hard as I can toward an agreement that will get them the health care they need. I’m sticking to my principles of keeping coverage for the children already in the program, and reaching many more of the five to six million kids who are eligible for CHIP or Medicaid but not enrolled. But some changes can bring about consensus on a final CHIP bill. That is why Senator Grassley, and Senator Rockefeller, and Senator Hatch and I are meeting intensively with House members this week. The four of us found consensus on the original CHIP Reauthorization Act. I believe we can bring people together again around the mission of helping America’s kids. I intend to finalize an amendment to the current legislation as quickly as possible. I wish that we had more time to work on it. But I believe that those who are ready to put kids before politics will find a way forward on CHIP, and soon.”

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