Thursday, June 28, 2007

Robert Novak: Socialized Medicine for "Kids"

Porkopolis posted a two part (1, 2) investigation into the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) back in February making the case that the increased funding policy would lead to abuses like this:
...Ms. Susan Molina of Denver (the single-mother, activist and subject of the Ms. Rovner's NPR report) has testified before Congress and supports benefits for families up to 300% of the federal poverty guidelines (see Table: 2006 HHS POVERTY GUIDELINES) of $16,600 for a family of 3. With that policy, a family like Ms. Molina's (1 parent, 2 children) would be eligible for assistance while still having an income up to $49,800 (300% of $16,600).

$49,800 is more than the $47,250 the Economic Policy Institute found (see figure B and Table 1) would be needed for the basic budget of a family of 4 (2 parents, 2 children) in Denver, Colorado which includes health care!...
SCHIP is now making it's way through the Senate Finance Committee and Robert Novak is taking notice as well:
...SCHIP over the past decade has been a beloved "kids" program whose faults were overlooked, much like the Head Start school program. The federal government has consistently granted waivers to permit 14 states to cover adults under SCHIP, which now cost $5 billion a year. Minnesota led the way, with 92 percent of money spent under the program going to adults.

The massive expansion was proposed by Sen. Clinton this year, furthering her promise of "step by step" advancement toward universal health care. Her proposal extends SCHIP to families at 400 percent of poverty (or $82,000 annually). Hatch after 10 years is back again supporting a Democratic program along with Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Finance Committee's ranking Republican. But they want a mere $55 billion (a $30 billion increase), compared with Rockefeller's $75 billion, causing the postponement of today's markup...
Update: WSJ Potomoac Watch: Socialized Medicine Showdown:
...Democrats will hail a Schip victory as an example of how they can help Americans on their top concern of health care. They want to ride it to the White House and to bigger congressional majorities, making it that much easier to institute incremental national health care. If Republicans don't unify now, they might not get a better chance.

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