To the Editor:
It is easy to understand Dr. Stephen Wall’s compassion for young children. Knowing Dr. Wall well, I hold him in high regard for this. When Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, gave Dr. Wall assurance that CHIP would be funded, Dr. Wall should know that he could take it to the bank! This letter addresses Dr. Wall’s misdirected frustration in his Dec. 27 letter to the editor (www.smokymountainnews.com/archives/item/21429).
Funding for CHIP expired on 9/30/17. The House of Representatives passed HR 3922 on Nov. 3, 2017, extending funding for CHIP and other important public health programs. Rep. Meadows supported passage of a full five-year re-authorization of CHIP and funding for two years for community health centers. (https://energycommerce.house.gov/news/press-release/house-passes-responsible-commonsense-bill-extending-funding-chip-critical-public-health-programs)
In regard to Dr. Wall’s bashing of our state legislators, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a statutory formula to “redistribute funds” to cover state shortfalls that may occur in the absence of funded FY 2018 CHIP allotments. There is nothing more our state legislators are required to do. (https://energycommerce.house.gov/news/press-release/house-passes-cr-extending-temporary-funding-critical-public-health-programs-relief-states-need-chip-funds/)
Rather than use the SMN to mislead the public, attention should be directed to the obstructionist Democrats in Washington. Hillary Clinton’s “resist, resist, resist” policy is not the way to accomplish anything. Republicans proposed a generous reauthorization of CHIP. Why does it not go through? House Democrats object because they do not want millionaires and billionaires to pay for the new spending on children’s health insurance. Senate Democrats object because they want to attach tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to insurance companies. Aren’t the Dems the ones shouting the rich should pay their fair share? (http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/11/democrats-hold-kids-health-subsidies-hostage-protect-millionaires)
Dr. Wall’s concern and energy is appreciated, just misdirected, as the facts show.