Tuesday, October 2, 2007

This SCHIP Won't Sail

As you know, Congress is currently fighting over the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Republicans disagree with Democrats on whether this program (originally intended for lower class families) should cover upper class families who already have private health insurance and illegal immigrants. Believe it or not, the Democrats' plan would allow families making up to $83,000 a year to be eligible for SCHIP. And how are the Dems going to pay for it? Why through a tax increase, of course. The Democrats, in turn, want to portray any Republican against their mindboggling expansion, including Congressman Kuhl, as a heartless bastard.

Here's what George Will has to say on the matter:

SCHIP was created in 1997 by a Republican-controlled Congress. Today's Democratic-controlled Congress wants to transform its mission. It began as a program whereby the federal government would subsidize state governments in providing health insurance for children from households not poor enough (generally 200 percent above the poverty line) to qualify for Medicaid but not affluent enough to afford to buy insurance. Were it to become law, the new SCHIP would be a long stride toward unlimited federal funds working as incentives for states to expand eligibility to more and more affluent families.

It would immediately include some with incomes 400 percent of the poverty line ($83,000 for a family of four). Over time, its "mission creep" would continue. Mike Leavitt, secretary of Health and Human Services, says that the new SCHIP would enroll 2.8 million more children, but 1.1 million of them would be from families for whom SCHIP had become an incentive to drop their private insurance. To that, some liberals say, sotto voce: Good. (Emphasis added.)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This is the type of nonsense that goes on in a Democrat-controlled Congress.

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