Senator Dean Heller and Washington Republicans have spent the last few months using the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as a political football and bargaining chip while they prioritized passing tax cuts for the rich. The Republican-controlled Congress recklessly allowed CHIP funding to expire on September 30, and the GOP’s political games have put tens of thousands of vulnerable Nevada kids at risk of losing access to health care.
Dean Heller now talks a lot about his support for CHIP — but a closer look at his record shows that he’s actually voted nearly a dozen times in Washington against bipartisan bills to reauthorize CHIP.
# 1: August 2007: Heller opposed the expansion of Children’s Health Care.
# 2: September 2007: Heller voted against SCHIP Expansion because it might benefit undocumented immigrant children.
# 3: October 2007: Heller voted with Bush in opposition to reauthorizing and expanding Children’s Health Insurance.
# 4: October 2007: Heller voted against SCHIP expansion because it might benefit illegal immigrant children and would have increased taxes on tobacco, despite 43 other House Republicans voting for it.
# 5: October 2007: Heller voted to make SCHIP enrollment more difficult.
# 6: January 2008: Heller opposed veto override for SCHIP.
# 7: January 2008: Heller voted to block SCHIP veto override attempt.
# 8: June 2008: Heller opposed budget to expand Children’s Health Insurance Coverage.
# 9: January 2009: Heller opposed expansion of Children’s Health Care despite 40 other House Republicans voting for it.
# 10: February 2009: Heller opposed SCHIP with Senate Amendment
# 11: March 2010: Heller voted against the final passage of the Affordable Care Act, which included a reauthorization of CHIP.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Sarah Abel released the following statement:
“Senator Heller is suddenly pretending to care about reauthorizing CHIP now that it’s politically convenient for him. Heller and Republicans in Congress have had since September to ensure that Nevada’s most vulnerable children continue to have access to critical health care, but instead they chose to prioritize passing their tax scam for wealthy donors. Nevada families deserve better than Dean Heller’s cynical strategy of using CHIP as a political football.”