What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : (H.R. 2) On a motion to table (kill) an amendment offered by Sen. DeMint of South Carolina. The amendment would have required families with incomes exceeding 200 percent of the local poverty line to share in the cost of treating any family member enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program.
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(H.R. 2) On a motion to table (kill) an amendment offered by Sen. DeMint of South Carolina. The amendment would have required families with incomes exceeding 200 percent of the local poverty line to share in the cost of treating any family member enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program.
senate Roll Call 16     Jan 27, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on a motion to table (kill) an amendment offered by Sen. DeMint (R-SC) to H.R.2, a bill that expanded the Children's Health Insurance Program. The amendment would require states to have families with incomes exceeding 200 percent of the local poverty line share in the cost of treating any family member enrolled in the child health plan. The Children's Health Insurance Program was created by Congress to extend health insurance to the children of the working poor whose families were not covered by any insurance provided by employers. H.R. 2, among other things, expanded the universe of children who would be eligible to be covered by the program.

DeMint said his amendment was based on the idea that, as Congress expands the coverage of the Children's Health Insurance Program, “we do it responsibly and make sure we do everything we can to keep personal responsibility as part of the plan.” He suggested that requiring families with incomes 200% or more above the poverty line whose children are covered to share in the costs would be a method for promoting that responsibility. DeMint claimed that the amount paid by those families “would not be more than 5 percent of income, and states can charge as little as they would like. But the whole point is to . . . to let people know this is not a permanent giveaway but something they need to participate in.” He added that “(A) number of states already require that the beneficiaries of this children's health plan pay a copay or a small part of the cost of the health insurance, and that is what this amendment does.”

DeMint also claimed that “(I)n some States, under this plan, families making over $70,000 a year, with a family of four, can take advantage of Government health plans. . . So what we are going to have is one person making $70,000 a year paying for their own private insurance and their neighbor making the same amount who has Government health care.” He argued that the cost-sharing requirement in the amendment would  “send the signal that this is not a permanent subsidy from Government but a temporary bridge to help families who need some help getting health insurance for their children to get the help they need . . . the main goal of this amendment is to stop the people moving from private plans--that they are paying for and taking responsibility for--to a government-sponsored plan . . . .”

The vote on the motion was 60-37. Fifty-six Democrats and four Republicans voted “aye”. Thirty-six Republicans and one Democrat voted “nay”. As a result, the amendment was killed and there was no further consideration of adding it to H.R.2.

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