Thursday, October 4, 2007
While I'm on the topic, the S-Chip veto
Just in time for my rant about insurance, President Bush has vetoed a measure that would have helped insure "millions of poor children." Called Schip (state children's health insurance program), it provides coverage, not for those below the poverty line (who get medicaid) but for those slightly above, who slip through the cracks. Now why would big, bad Bush want to hurt those poor, poor children? Well, for starters, the program was being increased to cover a family of four making over $60k a year (I've read some estimates that said up to $83k, the $60k is the very low-ball figure). Sorry, if you're making that, you don't need somebody else buying your insurance. Secondly, the program was designed to be "revenue neutral" (paid for) for about 5 years... and then the costs would skyrocket. But of course, government never ever retreats on a welfare program, so when the bill comes, we'd just have to hike taxes (or, more likely, run up the deficit). President Bush offered to sign a "plain vanilla" version of the bill that would continue the present program, or to even pledge more money for those kids who were closest to the poverty line. But the political theater was too good for that to ever happen. It's a bigger political winner to say "Bush kills program for poor kids." On my last post, Phillip asked why the GOP won't engage on this issue. Plain and simple, they are licked. A huge majority of Americans want the government to "give" them health insurance, and they want someone else to eventually pay for it. So long as the voters continue to believe in Santa Claus economics, no party suggesting anything resembling fiscal responsibility has a chance.