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p>On behalf of nearly 850,000 FreedomWorks members nationwide, I write to urge you to VOTE NO on S. 1893, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization bill being offered in the Senate. Funded by a $0.45 increase in the federal cigarette excise tax and a nearly 200% raise in taxes on cigars, the SCHIP reauthorization Senate proposal calls for $35 billion in new funds for the program dwarfing the president’s current request of $5 billion over 5 years. Later this week, the House will begin debating a package that could potentially add up to $50 billion in funds for SCHIP.
The passage of this massive package would be a giant step towards government control over the funding and direction of health care services in this country. The original intention of SCHIP when enacted in 1997 was as a limited contribution to state health programs. Such a large expansion of this program would make SCHIP similar to our automatically funded entitlement programs that disregard any fiscal restraint and discipline. An expansion of SCHIP funding will encourage a move from private insurers to a government mandated, socialized health care program with limited options or choices for families and individuals.
Funding this assault on individual liberty and personal freedom with a cigarette tax hike is irresponsible as cigarette taxes have been found to be regressive and an unreliable source of revenue. The proposed excise tax increase will fail to fully fund S. 1893, leaving a hole in the budget that American taxpayers will be forced to fill.
It is time lawmakers in Washington put a stop to the wasteful expansion of government. FreedomWorks will count your vote on S. 1893, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization package as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard. The FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes Senators who demonstrate voting records in support of economic freedom.
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