Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bush and GOP Not Making Sense on S-CHIP

1. Republicans have repeatedly described the S-CHIP program as "socialized medicine," with Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) calling it "garbage" and "secret socialized medicine" and "an international socialized medicine program." (Wow!). But its main co-sponsors are Republicans, it was originally authored by Republicans.

2. Republicans and the White House insist they don't want to raise taxes to fund S-CHIP, but the House GOP alternative to the Democratic plan, which House Republicans insist the President would sign, raises the cigarette tax (the same as the Democratic plan) but covers fewer children.

3. The Republicans ranted and raved that allowing states to enroll children in families who earn up to $83,000 as the original S-CHIP program and the reauthorization bill allowed, went to far and too many rich people were on the program. They couldn't prove that argument, but now that the second S-CHIP bill caps the enrollment at 300 percent of poverty, and the Republicans are still opposed. Can they make up their minds about what they want?

4. They oppose the current bill because they want to eliminate benefits for childless adults and want a citizenship requirement. But the second S-CHIP includes those conditions. But the Republicans still oppose it. And Bush says he'll veto it again. They are like children, and they need to sit in the corner.

When it comes right down to it, the Republicans want to exclude children from the program. That is the simple fact. And it appears that some House Republicans are willing to exchange their jobs for a vote that is in lock-step with a failed president and his failed ideology, not the interests of their constituents.

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