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August 6, 2007

$60 Billion for Children’s Health Care? Democrats Say ‘So What?’


If emotions were gasoline we would not have a crisis of dependency on foreign oil. Democrats use emotions to drive public opinion like people use gasoline in cars. The big difference is that people have to buy gasoline at the pump with their hard-earned money. Democrats just find more creative ways to raise taxes and take people’s money.


As Congress debated and voted on the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Democrats and their media allies were cranking up their “it’s for the children” emotional rhetoric. This familiar tactic was intended to embarrass enough Republicans into voting with them on a huge expansion of the program, and to discourage the president from vetoing the bill.


What the Democrats do not tell people in their gasoline-fired rhetoric is that the legislation is not just about “the children” of poor people. It’s a shield for their back-door expansion of government controlled health care.


The original authorization of $25 billion was for health insurance for children whose parents made too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Some states made the program more generous by allowing coverage for the children and their parents. The qualifier for a family of three was an annual income of two times the federal poverty level (FPL) or less, which, 10 years ago, was about $34,300 when the program started.


The Democrats are now proposing a $60 billion program with a qualifier of four times the FPL for a family of three, which is about $82,000 a year in annual income. When did $82,000 a year become the definition of a poor family of three?


The Democrats will argue that the $35 billion increase (140 percent) is not that big a deal when you consider all the money we spend on other programs. When did out-of-control spending on other social programs become justification for more out-of-control spending?  


They will also argue that the amount is peanuts compared to what we spend on the war in Iraq. No one is denied health care in this country, so when does it make sense to compare children’s health insurance to fighting terrorists?


And when does it make sense to make the family qualifier so generous that some “middle-class” parents will drop their private health insurance for the new and improved SCHIP government giveaway?


In a July 29, 2007 editorial, Cynthia Tucker, editorial page editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, simply says “so what?” to providing health insurance coverage to a family that might be considered middle-class. That’s liberal thinking: Who cares how much it will cost today or in the future, because it’s for the children, the poor and hard-working families?


The Democrats will just find a future tax to pay for it after the fact, because they have wild emotions and our money to burn. And a lot of people think that’s just fine. 


This is exactly how Social Security and Medicare started out. They were well-intended programs to assist people, but over time they became ill-executed entitlement programs. And we are now faced with impending financial train wrecks for both programs that the Democrats are simply denying.


SCHIP is another well-intended program that the Democrats want to accelerate down the same tracks as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Namely, unsustainable benefits which will lead to more taxes and more government control.


As Medicare and Medicaid become more restrictive because of runaway costs, and SCHIP becomes more expansive because of runaway benefits, they will eventually converge into a big bureaucratic mess called universal health care – through the back door.


When our nation’s credit card is maxed out and there is no more wild emotion to burn in order to expand government and raise taxes, we will not be able to buy more debt by the barrel from foreigners.


They will just say, so what?


© 2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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