Statement on SCHIP Reauthorization

Transcript: 

i thank the gentleman for yielding. i must say following the last speaker i think the last speaker is absolutely wrong. i think he misrepresented very substantially the facts of this bill which strengthens verification. this administration, the bush administration will tell you that the current -- and the governors will tell you that the current verification system is not working. and that in fact we strengthen in this bill the verification and, of course, although he made it clear that illegal immigrants are not included and are very specifically not included, this bill will make it easier and more facilitate ensuring that objective than the present law. mr. scalise: will the gentleman yield? mr. hoyer: very briefly. mr. scalise: the section that even the congressional budget office estimates that by removing that verification process would open up the door to about $5 billion of people who are illegal aliens now being able to be eligible because of that process. mr. hoyer: the verification process has not been strengthened, that may be accurate. i haven't seen the c.b.o. report to which you refer. however, the strengthening will preclude that objective from happening, in my opinion. madam speaker, i want to hear the story of demonty driver. this is from ""the washington post"" on february 28, 2007. demonte driver died today of a toothache. 12 years of age. a routine $820 tooth extraction might have saved him. but by the time his own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess that spread to his brain, doctors said, after two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care the princeeorge's county 12-year-old died. if you want a picture of american health care in all its excellence and in its failures, there it is. the best doctors, the latest technology, six weeks of hospital care for a sick boy at the cost of $250,000. in a country that can't find $80 to fix a toothache. to paraphrase adlai stevenson, american health care swallows tigers whole but they can choke on a gnat. we couldn't find $80 but in the end it cost us more than $250,000. more importantlywe lost a young man. yes, on a regular basis, demonte driver's case was extreme but unique. every day uninsured parents are foregoing much cheaper prevent ventive care and using the emergency room as the first line of defense for their children's health. ironically the president of the united states, when he vetoed this bill, said that's exactly what they could do. intervene in the most expensive, last ditch intervention in health care. we're all paying for that. we're subsidizing those e.r. visits. we're having a sicker work force. fixing american health care will take much longer than an afternoon. if i can pass one bill today, if i can find the most efficient use of our health care dollars, i'd insure more children. i think 80% of americans agree with us on that. one of the previous speakers, physician on the other side of the aisle, was recognized to speak. i spent, mr. dingell spe, mr. bachus spent, mr. rockefeller spent, mr. grassley spent some 30 hours in meetings with that doctor trying to reach a compromise. and a number of other people in that room. ultimately, there was no -- notwithstanding the changes we made in the bill, there was no willingness to compromise to insure the children. there's no more medically pivotal time in life than that of a child. make it through childhood without checkups, without a doctor's care and you're still facing a lifetime of endangered health. every other developed nation in the world seems to get that. every other developed nation in ...