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Friday, December 14th 2007

Senator Cornyn Gets His Wish

But Nothing You Can Do Senator Can Force The State’s Hand

Senator Cornyn continued to insist that we should be focusing on enrolling the children currently eligible under SCHIP. Trouble is Texas is a terrible state as an example of that. Despite our relatively low eligibility requirements, we leave more eligible children off the roles than any other state. And your proposal from Washington to help fix this Senator? The Senator’s response.

What about the rest of the country Senator Cornyn? The states who take all their federal money off the table? If you think you have a dedication to provide access for children then you need to realize it is impossible to get them all without getting some cost shifting (some children going from private to public forms of health care funding). Impossible. The CBO has already claimed that the predicted cost shifting under the Democrat’s SCHIP plan was about as reasonable as you are going to get.

So any continued opposition is merely a vote against children having healthcare. And I’m sorry if I’m starting to sound like the bleeding hearts I sometimes rant against, but I’m not trying to. It’s a real position if you don’t think anything is owed to these children but don’t argue that the way the current SCHIP bill is trying to provide insurance to children is flawed. The most unbiased and reasonable sources are all against you.

Sadly, as John cheers, the expansion just isn’t going to be a reality.

President Bush vetoed an expansion of the federally funded, state-run health insurance program for poor children for a second time Wednesday, telling Congress the bill “moves our country’s health care system in the wrong direction.”

The program currently covers about 6 million children whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid — the federal health insurance program for the poor — but who can’t afford private insurance.

Democrats wanted to extend the program to another 4 million, paying for it with a 61-cent-per-pack increase in the federal tax on cigarettes.

“What a sad day that the president would say that rather than insuring [millions of] children, ‘I don’t want to raise the cigarette tax,’ ” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.