There Are Better Ways to Insure Kids

Today, Congress plans to try to override President Bush’s veto of the SCHIP expansion. Yesterday, the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania House of Representatives spent hours debating a resolution to condemn President Bush’s veto of the SCHIP expansion. (“SCHIP” is supposed to provide health insurance for children in families with incomes that are too high for Medicaid, but too low to purchase private insurance. A “resolution” is merely a political tool to allow politicians to make their position officially known — it does nothing legally.)

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Grace-Marie Turner asks a simple question:

Will this expansion help or hurt the poorer children the program was designed to serve?

Her answer?

Already, two-thirds of children who do not have health insurance are eligible for federal help through either Schip or Medicaid. Congress’s first priority should be to make sure these poorer, uninsured children are taken care of. Yet states have struggled to get these children enrolled, which means that if there is a stampede to add higher-income kids to Schip, the poorer kids will
likely continue to get left behind. This is why the administration wants states to first enroll 95% of the children now eligible (those in families living on wages that are under 200% of poverty) before they open the program to higher-income kids.

In other words, the current program isn’t fully reaching the intend beneficiaries, yet Congress (and the PA House Dems) wants to further expand this program to children living in higher income families.

Hmmm….Sounds like a another big step toward their goal of universal, taxpayer-funded, rationed, low-quality health care insurance to us!