The 'S' in S-CHIP Is for 'Socialist'
McNickle, Colin, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
There can be no better contemporary example of the creeping crud of socialism than the congressional exploits surrounding reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. But it's refreshing to see President Bush has drawn such a deep line in the sand. Whether it's a Maginot line, however, remains to be seen.
The quite generous and well-intentioned program, generally known as S-CHIP, was designed at its 1997 inception to cover truly needy kids. But just to be safe -- just to make sure those on the cusp didn't slip through the cracks -- even kids well above the poverty line (a line, by the way, that discounts government subsides) were afforded medical coverage. Children in families of four earning 200 percent of the poverty level (just over $41,000 a year) are eligible. The program expires a week from today.
Of course, leave it to Disciples of Dependence to use kids in pursuit of statism's faux communal good.
Under one early Democrat proposal, children in families with incomes exceeding $80,000 would have been eligible for government medical care. Upward of 75 percent of all American children could have ended up being covered under the government plan. The numbers have been ratcheted down but they're still quite onerous. And in typical fashion, Democrats keep lowballing the real cost.
Mr. Bush has promised an uncharacteristic spending veto. And it's a veto that likely can be sustained in the House. Of course, chickens often do come home to roost.
Now, just because S-CHIP involves children doesn't make socialized medicine any more palatable. In fact, using them as human health-care shields is downright despicable. Taxes would have to rise to cover the escapade. The cost of private insurance coverage for kids will skyrocket or dry up altogether. And all the goodies that come with socialized medicine soon will follow. Long waits. Crappy care. Can dead kids be far behind?
The president deftly stated his position -- what should be every American's position -- in a Thursday news conference: "Our goals should be for children who have no health insurance to be able to get private coverage, not for children who already have private health insurance to be able to get government coverage."
The grossly expanded S-CHIP program "is an incremental step toward the goal of government-run health care for every American," he said.
Actually, you might as well call it the Socialist Democrat Recruitment Act of 2007. Just as liberals and progressives and Democrats want to bolster their constituency by amnestitizing hordes of illegal aliens, they'd simply love to be able to create millions of new government health-care dependents. …