Area Residents Urge Katko To Oppose Cuts To CHIP

As someone who has benefited from CHIP, Ursula Rozum explains the importance of the program.

As someone who has benefited from CHIP, Ursula Rozum explains the importance of the program.

OSWEGO — More than 20 local residents gathered in Franklin Square (West) Park today (May 24) to urge Congressman John Katko to vote against President Trump’s and Congressional Republicans’ plan to make draconian cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program in order to pay for the $1.5 trillion tax break for the wealthy, which was passed in December.

As someone who has benefited from CHIP, Ursula Rozum explains the importance of the program.
As someone who has benefited from CHIP, Ursula Rozum explains the importance of the program.

Following a brief program, the group marched to City Hall, where Katko’s local office is located. Neither the Congressman nor any of his staff were present.

“We appreciate everybody coming out,” said Tom Drumm, an Oswego County Legislator who is also a local organizer with Speak Out CNY.

The “horrible” tax plan would “really hurt people in the 24th Congressional District,” he said. “Today, we’re here to talk about the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the proposed cuts to it.”

“First, they handed out a $1.5 trillion tax break to their rich friends and campaign donors. Now Republicans like Congressman Katko want to pay for it by cutting critical programs that serve the neediest families in the country,” said Ursula Rozum, an area resident and former CHIP recipient. “CHIP insures almost 9 million children, including more than 21,000 here in Katko’s own district. This is a callous and heartless maneuver which wouldn’t even be on the table if Congressman Katko and his party hadn’t rushed through a tax scam that rewards the richest fraction of the country on the backs of working families.”

CHIP connects children with life-saving health care and offers the only access for their families to the care they need to manage their pre-existing or chronic conditions, Drumm said.

“This is just the same old play out of the Republican playbook,” he said. “Simply just going after our most vulnerable; whether it’s the elderly or whether it’s our kids, it’s something in my opinion, and I’ve said this multiple times, it’s completely out of touch with the people in the 24th Congressional District. So, we’re here today to say, ‘Hands off!’”

One of the many signs at the event
One of the many signs at the event

If the GOP wants to create a deficit, they should go after the wasteful spending some of the other larger programs – “Let’s not go after children’s health insurance,” he added. “It’s a critical program, for people that are sometimes ‘working poor’ that can’t afford those high premium health insurances.”

CHIP has helped reduce the number of uninsured children in the country to a record low of just five percent.

Without adequate federal funding, states will face critical financial shortfalls, costing children their health care, Rozum said.

Fred Ringwald, of We the People of Oswego Indivisible, said the group is nonpartisan and focuses on issues that matter to residents of Oswego County.

What kind of society do you want to live in? he asked rhetorically.

“For me, this issue regarding the (possible cuts to CHIP) that’s not the kind of society I want to live in. And I’m going to speak out for us and asking for the kind of society that we want to live in,” he said.

Last year, Katko voted to renew the CHIP program, Rozum said.

It was “a sneaky” vote, she said, adding that by supporting the TrumpTax, which cuts $1.5 trillion from the budget by giving tax breaks to his rich friends “it puts the choice before Congress of – how are you going to balance the budget?”

Congressman Katko voted to pass the TrumpTax in December, claiming it would create jobs and boost wages.

Of course, the exact opposite has happened, Rozum said. Corporations are spending their savings on stock buybacks to reward executives and shareholders at 64 times the rate they’re spending it on worker raises and bonuses.

Tom Drumm talks to some of the group prior to them heading to City Hall.
Tom Drumm talks to some of the group prior to them heading to City Hall.

Only 4.2 percent of workers have gotten a raise or bonus as a result of the TrumpTax, while their employers rake in billions in savings.

Now, Congressman Katko and the rest of the Congressional Republicans are considering clawing back $15 billion in already-approved federal spending to justify letting their massive tax break for the wealthy continue, Rozum said.

“I utilized CHIP all through my childhood. My mom worked sometimes for six days a week, 12-hour days, on weekends. It’s kind of sad because I remember how hard she worked. And, I didn’t really see her that much,” Rozum said. “She was really happy when CHIP was implemented because it was such a major relief. I feel I have a personal connection to this program.”

It’s shameful instead of caring about us, John Katko cares about millionaires and his donors,” she said. “I think it’s really great that we’re here to stand up for the 21,000 children in this district … that rely on CHIP.”

About Speak Out Central New York

Speak Out CNY is dedicated to educating and empowering Central New Yorkers through grassroots organizing, digital advocacy, and community partnerships. By advocating for policies that help working families make ends meet, we aim to encourage our members of Congress to protect our health care and work to expand economic opportunity.


  1. What a load of Leftist Progressive Propaganda, I’m now the bottom of what’s left of the NYS Middle Class!!! President Trump’s Tax plan has already enriched my fixed income finances……as for Health Care Obomination Care has adversely gutted my Health Ins. I pay for myself.

  2. Let’s just cut Katko and all the Trumpsters at the midterm elections. Don’t forget he’s also backed by the NRA. Has anyone noticed the gas prices? Gee maybe it’s because of Trumps decision to get out of the Iran deal and now it’s costing us,as are a lot of his stupid decisions. Watch out in the future. Keep an eye on the stock market too. Time will tell. We need some politicians that will stand up to him I don’t care what your party is. He just keeps on lying and Katko just keep voting right along with him….

  3. Way to Go Bruno, Standard deduction went from $12,000 to $24,000

    So if your Itemized deduction is more than $24,000 I guess your not better off!! I don’t think that fixed Income people have more than $24,000 Itemized deductions.

    As far as Iran remember “Death to America” and the Ayatolah Great Job by doing any kind of deal with them.

    Thanks to the NRA for defending our Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights ..

  4. With President Trump we have
    an economy booming
    Unemployment at record lows
    Consumer confidence at highest level in decades
    Isis being decimated
    Obama’s disastrous legacy being undone
    More oil production domestically in decades

    New York still remains at the top of the list of States where people are leaving under the reign of little king Andy Cuomo.
    The left still begging for higher taxes, and blaming the NRA and the rich for everything.

    I am sitting back with popcorn, and enjoying the show.

  5. Hey joe maybe you for got back in 2011 when i was driveing to syracuse gas was almost 4 gal under oboma watch what do you have to say now. thank god MR, TRUMP is our president

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