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Monday, October 29, 2007

SCHIP SH*T

The Senate and House are working on a revised version of the SCHIP children's health bill that the President vetoed a few weeks back. Oddly, after adding the protections that some GOP Congressfolks asked for, and reducing the income level to $62,000/yr for the program, it now costs MORE not less than the previous version!

According to Democrats, the extra $400 million dollars is to cover 100,000 children, who's families make well under the $62,000 limit, that weren't covered on the last bill. WAIT!!!! Wasn't this supposed to be covering them in the first place? Isn't the reason behind this whole program to cover "low income" children who can't get health care. Where did these 100,000 pop up from in the last month?

One of the objections to the last bill was that it would cover kids in families making up to $83,000 per year. Democrats claimed (wrongly) that only one State (NY) was looking at that level. Actually, at least one more is, Illinois. The difference is New York asked for the waiver already. Rod Blagojevich decided that his idea is better, raise the limit without asking, and then if the feds don't fund it, steal $400 million from other programs in the state to pay for it.

Lest anyone thinks that this program is anything more than a partisan political ploy to grab votes, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have already agreed that if it gets vetoed again they won't try for an override. Instead, they'll pass a resolution to continue funding SCHIP at the 2007 levels, and then bring a new version up for vote next year in late August, just in time for it to be good election fodder.

On that same subject, if indeed Ms. Pelosi is so concerned about a bipartisan bill being passed, why did she not send anyone to meet (or even call) the President's staffers who were assigned to work out a compromise bill after the last veto override failed? She knows there is a core group of Republican's who aren't going to vote for a 35% increase in the program, so why not try and work with them, instead of stuffing another unacceptable bill down their throats.

SCHIP is a decent program, with good reasoning behind it. Too bad the same can't be said for the folks trying to use it for a political toy, instead of a children's health insurance program.

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