According to a USA Today/Gallup poll, the majority of Americans polled support President Bush’s veto of the SCHIP expansion because they believe it should be a program that is focused on the poor. From USA Today:
•A slim majority, 52%, agreed with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level — about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% said benefits should go to families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow.
•A larger majority, 55%, said they were concerned that the program creates an incentive for families to drop private health coverage for a public program. Bush and Republican opponents have called that a step toward government-run health care. Only 42% said that wasn’t a concern.
Taken together, the results show that while Bush may be losing the political battle with Democrats, he may be winning the policy debate.
Mike Leavitt, Bush’s secretary of health and human services, said the policy is most important. “There’s a lot of politics going on right now. But the politics will last a matter of weeks,” Leavitt said Monday. “The policy here will go on for decades. We have to get this right.”
The American people have seen the families that the Democrats have used as spokespeople in an attempt to manipulate them into supporting the SCHIP expansion, and they’ve made up their minds. The majority of American people, as much as they support SCHIP for poor families, simply don’t want government run health care expanded even further to cover middle class families. They are right to be concerned that those who have private health care will opt to drop that coverage for government run and taxpayer funded health care. They are also right to be concerned with the incremental implementation of socialized medicine. So do Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi consider the majority of the American people to be the lunatic fringe?
The Democrats can continue with their vote to override the veto, but with the American people on the Republicans’ and the president’s side of this issue, they will lose that vote, probably for a quite a while.
This does not bode well for Hillary Clinton’s and the other Democratic presidential candidates’ massive government-run health care proposals.
Hat tip: Captain Ed