Thursday, February 5, 2009


To think that Bush successfully vetoed this pill of a bill in 2007 over the inconsequential sum of $30 billion dollars! Given the stimulus and recent bailouts, however, this now seems like chump change so Obama signed it cheerfully.

Thus the road to serfdom marches on. Let this be an illustration of how even the best-intentions cannot be maintained when you are dealing with entitlement programs. A Republican Congress initially cooked a modest program up in 1997 to help supplement state healthcare programs, but it has grown overtime to be more than just a stopgap. One of my favorite love-to-hate misguided columnists, E.J.Dionne explains how SCHIP paves the way towards socialized healthcare:
It also makes clear that universal health insurance coverage should be an urgent priority. But getting the children's program done in the meantime could create momentum for the larger program and reduce the size of the problem that needs to be solved in a comprehensive bill -- 10 million kids now, the rest later.
Not only is this bill prepping the legislature and the masses for universal healthcare, but it is also poorly funded. As the lovely and incendiary Michelle Malkin pointed out a couple weeks ago, they raised taxes on cigarettes in order to pay for SCHIP. Since cigarettes are disproportionately consumed by lower income people, Michelle was right to say:
"[T]his is Dr. Big Nanny's prescription for recession: punitive tax increases on the poor to feed a universal health care Trojan horse."
And need I start on how all of these massive stimulus and spending bills are just yet another mortgage on our nation's future?

It would be one thing if SCHIP actually did what the soundbites says it does, "provide healthcare to lower income children," but the loopholes and exceptions made to increase those qualified is egregious:
The new expansion, which is vengeance for Bush's veto, is mission gallop: It will make it much easier for some states to extend SCHIP eligibility to children from families earning up to $84,800. Furthermore, to make "poor" an extremely elastic concept, generous "income disregards" are allowed. Families can, depending on their state's policies, subtract from their income calculation what they spend on rent or mortgage or heating or food or transportation or some combination of these. So children in some families with incomes well over $100,000 will be eligible.
Let's just hope that the "surprising level" of partisan rancor over SCHIP means that more ambitious plans to socialize our healthcare system will still fail.

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