Saturday, October 27, 2007
State Children's Health Insurance
The best argument that something is possible, is that it already exists. The best argument that something can work, is that it is working. The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a joint state-federal effort that subsidizes health coverage for 6.6 million people, mostly children, from families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford their own private coverage. A majority of Congress voted to extend coverage to another 4 million at a cost of $35 billion to be paid by raising the federal cigarette tax. Bush vetoed the bill arguing that it would “federalize health care,” read socialized medicine. One can argue about the extent of coverage, but Bush’s veto seems not concerned with specifics, but rather is based on simple ideological labels that seem to guide many of his decisions. The charge that some people who now buy private health insurance for their children would switch to the SCHIP does not mean the extension is not needed to help relatively low income people. Some of these people who are sacrificing a great deal to cover their children need help.