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Hey Congress: What About the Kids?

So today the Republicans on Capitol Hill passed their tax cut goody bag for the corporations and the wealthy, but they still haven't extended the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) because they can't agree on how to pay for it. No matter, of course, that the GOP tax scam will add at least $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade. But the kids? They have to pay.

As I write this, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was working with a group of Democrats, including the Democratic Women's Working Group, to at least come up with a short term patch so CHIP can continue until they reach a permanent solution.

But the Republicans didn't seem to be listening. They were more interested in attending a celebration with Trump at the White House over their tax bill victory, which they managed to pull off so they could keep their wealthy donors and corporate lobbyists happy along with big shot commercial real estate moguls like Trump.

Here's how Congressional Quarterly explained what's happening re CHIP:

“This issue should have been done by Sept. 30 when the reauthorization ended. But Republicans, because they wanted payfors in a strange way, we couldn’t come to an agreement,” said Pelosi adding, “They were making children pay for children.”

The House passed a bill (HR 3922) last month largely along party lines. Democrats remain opposed to that legislation due to concerns over the offsets that would change Medicaid and Medicare, shorten a grace period that currently allows consumers 90 days to pay health exchange plan premiums and reduce funding for a Prevention and Public Health Fund established under the 2010 health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152).

The House continuing resolution (H J Res 124) currently includes the previously passed CHIP bill with the offsets that Democrats oppose. Republicans argue that Democrats should stop holding up a funding renewal and agree to the offsets.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are now setting their sights on "entitlements" -- a code word for Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits and the like. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said as much on the Today Show when he said the next step is to "address spending." So the fight is not over and 2018 could get much worse for seniors, the sick, the vulnerable (Oh, I forgot, Trump says that word is forbidden).

So, my friends, it is time to resist and prepare for the 2018 Congressional elections. What Trump and the Republicans are doing to our country is disgusting.

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