Monday, July 09, 2007

I have plenty of half-baked thoughts about health insurance. This post, however, is about the politics of health insurance.

A Battle Over Expansion of Children’s Insurance
The fight over a popular health insurance program for children is intensifying, with President Bush now leading efforts to block a major expansion of the program, which is a top priority for Congressional Democrats.

The seemingly uncontroversial goal of insuring more children has become the focus of an ideological battle between the White House and Congress. The fight epitomizes fundamental disagreements over the future of the nation’s health care system and the role of government.

Democrats have proposed a major expansion of the program, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, to cover more youngsters with a substantial increase in federal spending.


White House objections to the Democratic plan are “philosophical and ideological,” said Allan B. Hubbard, assistant to the president for economic policy. In an interview, he said the Democrats’ proposal would move the nation toward “a single-payer health care system with rationing and price controls.”

This is what it comes down to. We can yap about the philosophy of government all we want. In the meantime, there are children who have no coverage. That is a problem that needs to be addressed, no delays, no bullshit.

The Dems need to take a hard line on this, and they need to tar and paper the Repubs who are opposed. Make damn sure that people know what's at stake, and make damn sure that people know what the Repubs are doing.

For the Dems, this is an issue where the pragmatic and the philosophical line up. Children need coverage, here is a way of getting them coverage. Do it because it's the right thing to do.

Show people that the anti-government rhetoric is just that - rhetoric. Empty, meaningless. "All that talk about small government isn't going to cover one additional child."

No compromises. No engagement. "Here is our plan. Let the other side try to explain their opposition." I don't think there will be too much sympathy out there for not covering children who need it.


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