What: All Issues : Family Planning : Abortion : HR 2. (Children’s health insurance) Hatch of Utah amendment that would allow states to include “an unborn child” in the definition of “low income children” for the purpose of eligibility in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program/On agreeing to the amendment
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HR 2. (Children’s health insurance) Hatch of Utah amendment that would allow states to include “an unborn child” in the definition of “low income children” for the purpose of eligibility in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 26     Jan 29, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment by Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would allow states to cover unborn children under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  The amendment was offered to a bill that expands and reauthorizes SCHIP, which offers health insurance for children of families who are too poor to purchase private health insurance, but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.

Hatch said his amendment would codify what fourteen states have already approved. 

“This amendment also allows States to provide health services to the mother for 60 days after the birth of her child. In addition, the amendment also would provide health coverage to pregnant women for issues not relating to the pregnancy,” Hatch said.

Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., called Hatch’s amendment “divisive” because it would cover the child, but not the mother, and said it would inject abortion politics into the debate over health care.

“What we do in the underlying bill is we cover both. We cover the pregnant woman and the child she is carrying. There is no reason to have this amendment. Look at page 50 of the bill. It clearly states that prenatal care will be delivered to that pregnant woman. This is about adding abortion to this debate. It doesn’t belong in this debate. It is not necessary. We have already voted this down twice. I trust we will vote it down now,” Boxer said.

The amendment was rejected by a vote of 39-59.  All but four Republicans present voted for the amendment.  All but two Democrats present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have allowed states to cover unborn children under SCHIP, separately from their mothers.

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