Exempt sick kids from politics

President Bush is threatening to veto health care for millions of uninsured kids.

Millions of low-income kids will lose their health insurance unless the funding is renewed. The president is playing politics instead of helping sick kids. The new Democratic majority in Congress is working to fix our broken health-care system—starting with our children—but President Bush and Republicans in Congress don’t want Democrats to get credit for this popular effort.

Republicans in this Congress are on track to block three times as much legislation as any Congress in history. And the White House has made a stunning 48 veto threats this year.

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is an American success story, helping millions of uninsured kids get the care they need when they’re sick while saving us all money by reducing emergency-room visits. SCHIP started 10 years ago with bipartisan support.

The vast majority of Americans—more than two out of every three—support the effort to insure millions of children who need health care by raising the tobacco tax.

— Katherine Apt

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7 thoughts on “Exempt sick kids from politics

  1. craig

    Wow, what a great opportunity to turn this debate into a bipartisan effort to find a way to provide all children with free health care.

    And that’s just to start. The lessons learned from conducting such a program would later help in the implementation of an expanded program that would include everyone, young and old.

  2. children come first

    It is free because for every serious disease or illness you prevent or mitigate in children, you save tens of thousands of dollars dealing with emergency room visits, costly medications, hospital stays, etc. I think we should take this idea MUCH further and invest money in fresh local HEALTHY foods for school lunches and FREE health clinics in schools. Believe me, the cost of dealing with childhood obesity, poor nutrition, and ER visits is MUCH greater than “free” healthcare for children.

  3. children come first

    If free refers to the cost to the parents, then it really depends on the program details. Some programs have a sliding scale that requires parents of higher income to kick in copays and/or small premiums.

    If free refers to the ultimate cost to the taxpayer, then I stand by my assertion that the programs would eventually save society money. Although some drug and for-profit health care co’s might see their humongous profits turn into just huge profits. LOL

  4. travelah

    The legislation in question was not focused on expending dollars on preventive medicine but in providing medical care for a large expanded eligible group of people, many of whom are already covered by either Medicaid or private insurance (not to mention the number of illegals included in Ms. Clinton’s touted numbers). The question remains as to who is going to pay for what you consider a “free” service. I am not sure how you determined that the various drug manufacturers are going to lose profits because you prefer to dip into one pocket vs. the other to pay for their products. The same is true of the private hospitals. The demand for the services exists and that is what keeps them in business.

    I think you need to keep in mind or at least explore if you have not considered this, that the cost is not limited to funding the program from tax revenues. Have you considered why there have been almost no new drug applications developed in Canada in the last 30 years? Have you discovered that large numbers of Canadians come to the US for medical treatment? Do you know why we pay such a higher rate for prescription drugs sold at “bargain basement” prices on the other side of either of our borders? The cost of this program is far from free. In the long run, it will stifle research and development bringing ruin to what is arguably the best health care system in the world albeit with certain faults.

    I realize I am stretching from the content of the legislation in discussion but your last reply clearly drives the point home. This is not about health care for “under privileged” children. It is about beginning the process to socialize medicine in this country.

    I think it’s time we began discussion on how to resolve the problems in our existing system rather than jumping onto failed socialist models that offer only one failed path. Somebody once mentioned an interesting observation. The next time you find yourself standing in line at a government office such as SSA or DMV, ask yourself if this is what you want when your medical options are limited to the dull drab clinic with plastic seats available for only 2/3s of the souls seeking care.

    A.M. Mallett

  5. craig

    In the sense that taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding it, SCHIP – or any improvement upon it – is not really free. I think what it boils down to is the burden we’re all willing to bear in order to have peace of mind that medical costs will not bankrupt us or keep us from seeking care. Very strong, sensible arguments can be made against socialized medicine. If, in time, however, most of us are willing to move in that direction, I think it would be wise to first focus on serving the needs of children, with an eye toward preventative care and working the bugs out of a system that could later be expanded. So I’d call it free on the front end, not so free on the back end. But I think the successes of SCHIP are worth noting.

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