By Ben Cohen
For a president spending $2 billion a week on occupying a foreign country, it seems completely hypocritical that he would not pass a bill to fund health care for poor children at a far smaller cost. But for president Bush, this is part and parcel of ‘compassionate conservatism’.
Government, as neo conservatives like to think, should essentially be eradicated when it comes to providing for its people. It’s role is to serve the interests of corporate America, giving them huge tax subsidies and contracts to ensure they are kept happy.
The bill at hand is the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a state-federal program that subsidising health coverage for low-income families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private coverage.
The proposal would add $35 billion over five years to the program, adding 4 million people to the 6.6 million already participating. It would be financed by raising the federal cigarette tax.
Apparently, this won’t do for Bush, who called the move ‘irresponsible’.
“Members of Congress are risking health coverage for poor children purely to make a political point,” he continued.
“Our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage, not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage”…..
This is of course, complete nonsense. In typical fashion, the facts are being distorted, and turned around to fit the ideology of the President. Just as the ‘Clear skies’ act meant more pollution in the atmosphere, any time the President says his policies helps people, it usually doesn’t.
The bill, that many Republicans support, actually provides financial incentives for states to cover the uninsured first, and should extend coverage to millions of uninsured children (although really, it does not go far enough).
Given that most of those children slipped through the net under the Bush presidency, it is absolutely despicable for him to reject this bill, and claim he has the solution to fix the problem. More private insurance has had disastrous results for Americans, with 47 million people uninsured as of this year.
The argument for more private insurance has been lost. It’s time for a change, and Bushes view on the subject is increasingly irrelevant.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.