Rahm Comes to Town

Rahm Emmanuel is in town, holding a press conference with Eric Massa about expansion of S-CHIP.

At the press conference, Massa said that "one of the proudest moments of my life will be the day I cast a vote" for S-CHIP expansion. Massa said that 280,000 children in New York would benefit from expansion.

Emmanuel said that S-CHIP was an example of bi-partisan cooperation, citing the 17 Republican Senators and 47 Republican Members of Congress who voted for S-CHIP. He characterized it as a "fully paid-up" program, saying that there's "no doubt" that S-CHIP will be one of the first bills to be voted on in January.

Randy Kuhl has been on the wrong side [of this bill] five times. No issue represents the fundamental difference between Eric Massa and Randy Kuhl more than this one.

I asked both about the issue of S-CHIP coverage in New York, which would move to 400% above the poverty line. This was one of Kuhl's reasons for voting against the bill.

Massa cited a report issued yesterday by the Journal of the American Medical Association saying that children whose parents are at 200-400% of poverty line are not getting healthcare.

Emmanuel said, "These are the kids of working parents. They fall, through no fault of their own, between Medicaid and employers that provide private health care. They make more because they work, so they can't get Medicaid. But where they work doesn't provide health care."

Massa also said that it's likely that not insuring these children ends up costing us money.