Thursday, July 26, 2007

On doing it for the kids

Okay, so in a bipartisan effort, the Senate Finance Committee has greenlighted a bill that would expand the Safe Children's Health Insurance Program. The bill would increase funding for the program $35 billion over the next five years to $60 billion, decreasing the number of uninsured children in the country by 4.1 million.

But President Bush is going to veto the bill.

He's going to veto it because the added funding would be financed by an increase in federal excise tax on tobacco products, raising the taxes on each pack from 39 cents to $1.

That's not the only reason, though:
“The proposal would dramatically expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, adding nonpoor children to the program, and more than doubling the level of spending,” Mr. Fratto said. “This will have the effect of encouraging many to drop private coverage, to go on the government-subsidized program.”

That's right: This program must be stopped, because it might insure too many children! And in an insurance market that has left more than 9 million children uninsured, obviously, insured children is a... bad thing.

Without this bill, SCHIP is set to expire September 30, yanking the insurance out from under nearly 6 million children. But to a man who doesn't mind vetoing troop funding in the middle of a war, a bunch of uninsured children probably doesn't even register.

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