Friday, July 20, 2007

SCHIP; Another Step Towards Socialized Medicine

Thurber's Thoughts argues that federally funded State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a socialized wolf in middle-class entitlement clothing. What's worse is that the GOP is complicit in the scheme.

From Socialized Medicine, SCHIP and the role of the GOP:
...Ironic - when the Democrats controlled Congress in 1993, the Clinton administration failed to pass a national plan for socialized medicine. But Republicans, in 1997, implemented the administration's backup plan. According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a "kids first" strategy which could be implemented through Medicaid was the backup option in case the larger plan failed. Many rejected 'HillaryCare' as socialized medicine...but those same people willingly took the first step toward the end goal by passing SCHIP.

So why did the GOP do this? Some speculate that they caved to an effective Democrat strategy which went something like this: Let's propose a new government program for children and fund it with cigarette taxes. Then, if Republicans oppose "KidCare" we'll charge that they don't care about children and that the only reason they oppose it is because they get large sums of money from the tobacco industry. This was a brilliant political strategy and one that is duplicated in numerous issues today. How many times do you hear, in a campaign, that it's 'for the children'?...

...Another concern at the time was that SCHIP would eventually become mandatory, regardless of family income or need. With the current proposed expansion to higher income levels, it's not yet mandatory, but it looks like it will certainly become the 'insurance of choice' for those eligible, after all - if the government is going to pay for something, why should I?...
Oh, by the way, just because the State Children's Health Insurance Program says its for 'Children' doesn't keep states from insuring adults (emphasis added):
...What GAO Found:

SCHIP enrollment increased rapidly during the program’s early years but has stabilized over the past several years. As of fiscal year 2005, the latest year for which data were available, SCHIP covered approximately 6 million enrollees, including about 639,000 adults, with about 4.0 million enrollees in June of that year. States’ SCHIP programs reflect the flexibility the statute allows in structuring approaches to providing health care coverage. As of July 2006, states had opted for the following from among their choices of program structures allowed: a separate child health program (18 states), an expansion of a state’s Medicaid program (11), or a combination of the two (21). In addition, 41 states opted to cover children in families with incomes at 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) or higher, with 7 of these states covering children in families with incomes at 300 percent of FPL or higher...




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