Wednesday, October 03, 2007

An SCHIP off the socialist block

George Will dissects the debate over the SCHIP program that Congress passed, and which Pres. Bush is expected to (and ought to) veto. The program subsidizes state health insurance for children in families who earn up to 200% of the poverty line income. Congress wants to double that to 400% -- that would cover a family of four with a total annual income of more than $80,000. Here's Will's pithy summary of how the plan would be covered by a new tax:

The president proposed a $5 billion increase for SCHIP over five years. In a familiar Washington folk dance, the Senate voted a $35 billion increase, and the House endorsed a $50 billion increase but receded to the Senate sum, which was therefore declared moderate. The increase supposedly would be funded by a 61-cent increase in the cigarette tax.

So, this health legislation depends on a constantly large and renewable supply of smokers—22 million new ones. This "progressive" measure requires a regressive tax (smokers are predominantly and increasingly lower class) levied to expand subsidized health insurance ever upward into the middle class.

Only in Washington does this pass for logic.

The Monk has the same basic opposition to this bill that Will does -- it's another step toward HillaryCare. And the last thing the US needs is socialized medicine.

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