Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SCHIP Perhaps Overblown?

A little while back I made the observation that finger pointing hysteria may be out of style for this election cycle. Probably the first test of the hypothesis would be the hype surrounding the S-CHIP program. Before I go further, I have three points to be made that I cannot simply let slide.

1. Stop using children as pawns to advance your ideology. If you cannot make an argument on its merits, then you have no right to be making it. Honestly, placing your children willingly into a political firestorm is just idiotic and does not reflect that greatly on you as a parent or a politician.

2. Both the Frosts and the Wilkersons QUALIFY FOR THE EXISTING PROGRAM. There are over 500,000 other children who qualify for the program that the Democratic plan leaves behind. How about we come to an agreement on getting those children covered before moving straight to Socialism light?

3. If your program is so important, then it should be no problem calling on your core supporters to bear the lion's share of the burden. If the funds for this program were going to be taxed from trial lawyers, along with the sale of bumper stickers, Barbara Streisand DVDs, and frilly drinks with umbrellas, I might take the howling with a little more sympathy. Reaching out to once again hit tobacco users should scare the snot out of people who see where that road is going. Tomorrow the disfavored underclass may be you.

End rant.

Now that I have finished with my own emotional editorializing, a new USA Today poll shows that the S-CHIP issue may not be the slam dunk issue Democrats thought it was.

• 52% agree with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level — about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% say benefits should go to families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow.

• 55% are very or somewhat concerned that the program would create an incentive for families to drop private insurance. Bush and Republican opponents have called that a step toward government-run health care.

Taken together, the results show that while Bush may be losing the political battle with Democrats, he may be doing better on policy.

Mike Leavitt, Bush's secretary of Health and Human Services, said the policy is most important. "There's a lot of politics going on right now. But the politics will last a matter of weeks," Leavitt said Monday. "The policy here will go on for decades. We have to get this right."

Of course, Democrats will stick with emotionalism, thank you:

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said other polls have shown a much bigger edge for Democrats. "This debate is set up," he said. "It's set up about 10 million children or not."
We'll see Rahm, We'll see. . .

I suspect a veto couple with a bill to guarantee the coverage of those 500,000 families just like the Frosts and the Wilkersons would dim much of the political furor, especially if it guaranteed the quality of care offered.

Would Reid and Pelosi allow the passage of such a bill?

1 comment:

Sirocco said...

My response here.