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Thursday, October 4, 2007
MRC Misleads on SCHIP Funding
Topic: Media Research Center

An Oct. 3 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd attacked an Associated Press reporter for "her biased coverage of President Bush's veto of the Democratic proposal to boost SCHIP by a whopping $35 billion over five years." Shepherd countered:

And what about the fact that President Bush would be fine with a $5 billion increase over five years -- simple math tells us that's a healthy $1 billion-a-year on average. Indeed, given current spending levels, a $5 billion increase would amount to a 20 percent hike in spending, hardly a draconian cut in taxpayer spending.

In fact, as Media Matters reported, a Congressional Budget Office study found that "maintaining the states' current programs under SCHIP would require funding of $39 billion for the 2007-2012 period." SCHIP's current budget is $25 billion over those five years; Bush's additional $5 billion would bring that total up to $30 billion -- $9 billion short of what is needed to maintain the program at current levels.

Similarly, an Oct. 3 Business & Media Institute report by Amy Menefee claimed that "Bush wanted to expand SCHIP by about $5 billion over the next five years (a 20-percent funding increase) as opposed to the bill passed by the Senate and House, which would have added $35 billion over the same period (a 140-percent increase)" without noting the CBO figures showing that Bush's funding "increase" would underfund the program as it's currently set up.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT

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