by Steven Ertelt
August 2, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Despite opposition from pro-life groups because of concerns that it could lead to taxpayer-funding of abortions or euthanasia, the House approved the CHAMP bill Wednesday night that revises the SCHIP program for health care for poor children. The House eventually approved the bill by a mostly party-line vote of 225 to 204.
Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, outlined the concerns pro-life advocates had about the proposal.
His top concern was the scrapping of the Unborn Child Rule, which the Bush administration put in place to give states the option of providing medical coverage to pregnant mothers and their unborn children by including them along with children after birth.
"Eleven states, including California, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Texas, Wisconsin and Michigan now include explicit coverage for unborn babies in their programs," Smith explained. "H.R. 3162 puts that enlightened and progressive policy at risk."
Smith also complained that the House Democratic leadership prevented pro-life Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania from proposing an amendment to the bill that would have restored the provision.
"The impulse to deny to unborn children any innate value, worth and dignity is so extreme that the bill doesn’t include—and wouldn’t even make in order Mr. Pitts’s amendment," he said.
The bill’s changing the policy from covering pregnant women and the unborn to just pregnant women could also usher in taxpayer funded abortions, some groups said.
Meanwhile, the National Right to Life Committee voiced several euthanasia concerns about the how the bill would adversely affect health care coverage for seniors — that could lead to the rationing of health care and denial of lifesaving medical treatment.
The group said the bill could ration health care for seniors by preventing them from putting their own money into Medicare and obtaining more or better health care.
Under the legislation, seniors would be prevented from adding their own money on top of what the government will pay in order to get Medicare health insurance less likely to ration lifesaving medical treatment. The bill ends the "private fee-for-service" alternative that gives them this legal option.
This vote affects the critical issue of involuntary euthanasia — of whether uncounted millions of us are forced to die against our will because the government makes it illegal even to use our own money to obtain unrationed health insurance, NRLC said.
Because of these and other issues, President Bush has vowed to veto the bill if Congress sends it to him. The Senate is still considering its own version of the legislation.