LEFT OF DAYTON

WSJ editorial said Bush supports a “20% expansion” of SCHIP — not according to Congressional Budget Office | October 16, 2007


Summary: A Wall Street Journal editorial claimed that President Bush’s proposed $5 billion increase in funding over five years for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program would be a “20% expansion.” But the Congressional Budget Office found that Bush’s proposal would underfund the program by $9 billion during that period.


An October 13 Wall Street Journal editorial criticizing the response by congressional Democrats to President Bush’s veto of legislation that would increase funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by $35 billion over five years asserted that “in truth, the Bush Administration endorses a modest expansion” of the program. The editorial went on to claim that “after his veto Mr. Bush repeatedly signaled a willingness to compromise and spend more than the $5 billion he would prefer to pump in — which is by itself a 20% expansion.” In fact, Bush’s plan to “pump in” an additional $5 billion over five years would underfund the program by $9 billion during that period, according to the Congressional Budget Office. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, in May, the CBO estimated that “maintaining the states’ current programs under SCHIP would require funding of $39 billion for the 2007-2012 period.” But a $5 billion increase from baseline funding — Bush’s proposal — over five years would total $30 billion.

From the October 13 Wall Street Journal editorial:

After President Bush vetoed Congress’s major expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, Nancy Pelosi declared: “President Bush used his cruel veto pen to say, ‘I forbid 10 million children from getting the health benefits they deserve.’ ” As far as political self-parody goes, that one ought to enter the record books.

It’s wrong on the facts, for one, which Speaker Pelosi knows. The Schip bill was not some all-or-nothing proposition: A continuing resolution fully funds the program through mid-November, so none of the 6.6 million recipients will lose coverage. And even if Washington can’t agree by then, there will be another stopgap, because Schip might as well already be an entitlement. In truth, the Bush Administration endorses a modest expansion. A majority of Congress backs a much larger expansion. The controversy is over the role of government in health care.

The 10 million children that Ms. Pelosi cites are the sum of the current enrollees plus those who could join under the Democratic plan (which also has the support of some wayward Republicans). Never mind that up to 60% of these children already have private insurance, which Schip would displace as it moves up the income scale. Only by Beltway reasoning could “not expanding” count as “denying” public assistance. Hillary Clinton went further and said the President was actively “stealing” health care from needy kids.

Despite all that, after his veto Mr. Bush repeatedly signaled a willingness to compromise and spend more than the $5 billion he would prefer to pump in — which is by itself a 20% expansion. His offer has been spurned flatout, and an override vote is scheduled for next week. Despite their howls about “the children,” Democrats and their media partners are happy to milk them for political gain.

Unfortunately, that narrative was bolstered this week by some conservative bloggers. After the Schip veto, Democrats chose a 12-year-old boy named Graeme Frost to deliver a two-minute rebuttal. While that was a political stunt, the Washington habit of employing “poster children” is hardly new. But the Internet mob leapt to some dubious conclusions and claimed the Frost kids shouldn’t have been on Schip in the first place.

As it turns out, they belonged to just the sort of family that a modest Schip is supposed to help. One lesson from this meltdown is the limit of argument by anecdote. The larger point concerns policy assumptions. Everyone concedes it is hard for some lower-income families like the Frosts to find affordable private health coverage. The debate is over what the government should do about it.

—M.G.

David E, one of my computer guru’s, said, and I agree with him…if your going to quote; link it…so here, read the original at http://mediamatters.org/items/200710150004?src=other

Take 5 minutes, write a short note supporting this important legislation>Do it on notepad. Then copy it and send it to the Congressmen whose email addresses I posted above. Tell them in your own words that you appreciate them standing with families in need and not with those who would callously further endanger the health of millions of children by their continued degradation of public services. And then, make the call. Get up on your hind legs and bark!!!

 

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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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