Thursday, November 8, 2007

WSJ Article: SCHIP Wreck

In a previous post, I suggested that when voters learn more about the Dems plan for SCHIP expansion, i.e., to include upper-middle class families rather than just cover lower income families, most voters agree with the Republicans on this issue.

Now we have further proof based on a ballot question in Oregon, a state that went to Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. By a large margin, voters rejected a state level cigarette tax for a state children health insurance program expansion, similar to the proposal being debated on Capitol Hill.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Oregon voters passed judgment Tuesday on a plan that would have made their state children's health insurance program "universal." Sound familiar?

It should, because Oregon reproduced the current Schip fracas in D.C. on the state level--and the referendum took a major shellacking, with voters siding three to two against. Oregon's expansion was almost identical to the one backed by Congressional Democrats...
There are political lessons here, in case anyone in Washington is paying attention. Voters are rightly concerned about health care and would like everyone to have insurance, but they realize that government programs are very expensive. Americans also don't seem to want to pay for health-care reforms directly through higher taxes. That accounts for the reliance by politicians on the easier sell of tobacco taxes, and it also explains why Congress has disguised the real cost of its Schip contraption with a $30 billion budget gimmick.

I encourage you to read the whole piece and ask yourself, "If voters in a state as liberal as Oregon rejected this, what do you think the feelings are of voters in the conservative-leaning 29th Congressional District of New York?"

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