President Bush will not support an expansion in SCHIP, a wise decision. SCHIP is Hillary Clinton's attempt to boil the frog of socialized medicine very slowly. The program started with poor children, then their parents, and now she and her allies in Congress are trying to absorb children from middle class families:
President Bush yesterday rejected entreaties by his Republican allies that he compromise with Democrats on legislation to renew a popular program that provides health coverage to poor children, saying that expanding the program would enlarge the role of the federal government at the expense of private insurance.
The president said he objects on philosophical grounds to a bipartisan Senate proposal to boost the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years. Bush has proposed $5 billion in increased funding and has threatened to veto the Senate compromise and a more costly expansion being contemplated in the House.
"I support the initial intent of the program," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post after a factory tour and a discussion on health care with small-business owners in Landover. "My concern is that when you expand eligibility . . . you're really beginning to open up an avenue for people to switch from private insurance to the government."
What Christopher Lee does not include in his report is that this new bill will allow children in families that live at four times the poverty rate, or who make about $82,000 a year, to be eligible for the government health care program. President Bush is correct in that doing so will encourage families who have private insurance to move to government run health care, which would be a big mistake. The government is already having a hard time funding SCHIP as it is. Including children in middle class families as well will just require more taxes to fund it.
McQ at QandO also takes Mr. Lee to task for not providing any details of the plan that President Bush is rejecting.