Carter, GOP Scared Of SCHIP Because It Works

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Commentary, District 31, Had Enough Yet?, Health Care, Take Action, Williamson County at 9:52 am by wcnews

For all the whining we’ve heard over the years from “conservatives” about government programs that don’t work it would seem that they’d be ecstatic about one that not only works, but works well. Not so, in the case of SCHIP. Working government does not fit into their view of government in general, which is to let the corporations that donate to them run everything. In this case, in which th private sector can’t do it better, they have no way to fight back against the middle class that wants more of a good thing. Which leads us to this excellent editorial in today’s HChron, No wonder Republicans are panicked over SCHIP.

The right does these issues on automatic pilot — and the left knows how to hit back — but the center feels conflicted. Megan McArdle, a blogger for The Atlantic magazine’s Website, worries about forcing families to sell assets to qualify for public health-care benefits. “On the other hand,” she writes, “many people, including me, don’t want to pay for the health care of someone so that they can stay in their Park Avenue mansion.”

Honey, you already do.

The taxpayers are footing the medical bills of many a Park Avenue swell over 65. There’s little means testing in Medicare, yet Bush pushed a drug benefit on top of the program’s already generous coverage. It will cost many times the price of SCHIP, even were it to cover the likes of Graeme Frost.

So let’s discuss what the panic is really about. Republicans know that once government health coverage seeps up into the middle class, there’s no stopping it.

Note how Bush does this big “compassionate conservative” thing about very much wanting SCHIP for poor people. Programs for the poor are fine, because you can always cut the living daylights out of them. Politicians who mess with middle class benefits find their heads in the return mail.

The happiest campers in American health care today are the people in Medicare, a government-run program that sets prices. Middle-class families who taste similar fruits will not say: “Please, oh, please. Send my health coverage back into the exciting free market.” And their neighbors will ask, “Where can I get some?”

As last stands go, issuing cries of injustice that an insured family making $40,000 might be asked to subsidize the health care of an uninsured family making $60,000 is neither heroic nor smart.

The more rational response would be to let the folks making $40,000 also join the program — and require employers to raise their paychecks by the amount previously taken out for health coverage. Both the family and the bosses would come out ahead.

Really, how did American workers become the last people in any industrialized democracy to be subject to such anxiety about paying for medical care? They already fund the health care of retirees, the poor, the disabled, convicts and government employees, including members of Congress. Their taxes pay for everyone’s health care except their own.

Republicans can’t possibly believe that today’s expensive and chaotic mess of a health-care “system” is a “conservative” approach.

They see their former business allies running into the arms of Democrats for deliverance from the unpredictable costs of insuring workers.

Right-wingers, give it up! You’re fighting a battle you shouldn’t want to win. A country without universal coverage isn’t conservative. It’s primitive.

Remember this bill is a bipartisan compromise, with only the president and the most extreme right of the GOP being against this bill. Congressman Carter will not “give it up” because he believes he’s in a safe district where his constituents won’t hold him accountable for a vote like this. We’ll see. Don’t forget to contact him.

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