Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Your friend, Lazlo Toth

Dear Congressman Olson,

Congratulations on your election to the House of Representatives. I must confess that I didn’t vote for you myself, as I was concerned about you working for Sen. Phil Gramm back when he was repealing Glass-Steagle Act banking regulations, but as a pragmatist and believer in two-party rule, I wish you well, and may try sometimes to help you see things in another light.

I am writing today because you voted against a bill to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Surely you realize that there is a pressing need for affordable healthcare, especially for children from poor Texas families. This may not have been an ideal bill, but it will help millions in need until we can agree on a more comprehensive solution to this critical problem.

As I look at the “How They Voted,” in the Sunday paper, I see that we split on all four bills, however, I remember appreciating what you told a reporter recently about “not always throwing spears.” The new House has important work ahead of it, and as much as you can take part in making good things happen, you’ll have my support.

Judge Chief Charly Hoarse


At 7:41 PM , Blogger judge chief charly hoarse said...

January 29, 2009

Dear Mr. Hoarse,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP). I appreciate hearing from you and appreciate this opportunity to respond to your concern.

SCHIP was established in 1997 under a Republican-controlled Congress to provide a health insurance backstop for low-income children. I strongly support the bi-partisan goals of this important program, and I joined several of my Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi outlining our commitment to SCHIP's original mission of covering low-income, American children. We also requested that a stable funding source be used to finance the program.

Instead, the House Democratic leadership rushed through legislation (H.R. 2) that would greatly expand SCHIP rolls to include children of families making up to 400 percent of the poverty level. Some adults would also be eligible for the program, and the legislation opens up the possibility of non-citizen participants by lessening the citizenship verification standards to enroll. In their rush to open the gates of government health care to new constituencies, Democrats risk crowding out the truly needy children who could most benefit from this program.

In addition, I opposed this bill because the $33 billion expansion of the program would have been paid for by denying any new physician owned hospitals the opportunity to accept Medicare patients. These hospitals enhance competition and innovation in the health care marketplace and putting restrictions on them will only lead to more limited health care choices. The bill would have also been partially paid for by an unstable and regressive increase in the tobacco tax.

It is critical that SCHIP remains a safety net for low-income children and does not expand until that mission is fulfilled. Please know that as the legislative process moves forward, I will continue to work to make sure that your tax dollars are used responsibly to ensure the program fulfills its potential to cover all eligible low-income uninsured children.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I am honored to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact one of my offices or visit my website at


Pete Olson
Member of Congress


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