Thursday, September 27, 2007

What Don't They Understand?

Currently in the Congress there is a lot of arguing about the SCHIP program. Now, I will be the first to admit that I don't understand everything about the program - other than it grants health care coverage to children. My understanding of the debate is that some on the Right feel that an expansion of SCHIP is unnecessary because the families of some of the new beneficiaries can afford health coverage themselves. But doesn't that miss the point? Children cannot buy their own health insurance. What if the parents in a middle class family, upper or lower (according to Investors Business Daily the expanded SCHIP will cover children in families of four making under $83,000/year) choose not to spend the money on coverage. Maybe they have a small business and do not feel they can afford the insurance? What if they are deeply in debt? Or what if the parents are simply callous and do not care about their children's well-being enough to spend the money?

In short, I wish to remind those who do not want to expand SCHIP because a family might be able to afford health care for its children, that it also might not choose to do so - and there is nothing the children can do about it.

3 comments:

Philippe Duhart said...

I'll bet anyone a few donuts that the Democrats will fail to use this effectively against the Republicans. The GOP leadership hands them a great rhetorical battering ram, and th Dems prove themselves either too meek to go negative -- as if it's ineffective -- or they'll fumble the ball, which is how they do it.

Time for a good old party purge, flush the DLC, the Clintonites, and the Blue Dogs.

Which reminds did you see the vote on the Revolutionary Guard's designation today? To wit.

Dwight Phelps said...

The reason I'm against this bill can be found in your concluding paragraph.

You mention how parents may not pay for a child's health insurance for many reasons. I agree. And I also believe that is why this would merely be a bandaid, not actually fixing the true problems.

The $12 million in this bill, in my opinion, would be much better spent on a nation-wide parent education program. I feel that such a program is sorely lacking in this country. I work in education, working with kids every day. I want all those kids to be cared for in the best possible way. And I feel that the way to do that is to help Americans become better parents.

Most parents that I work with are woefully under-informed on how best to work with, and provide for, their children. In the end, I keep coming back to this example: A child injured when: left in a car/abused/allowed to play without supervision/in a car accident without a seat belt - under SCHIP, this child has health care. That's a good thing. A better thing, in my mind, would be to prevent such incidents from happenning. That is why I am in favor of parental education.

I know that SCHIP would be more immediate, but, as stated, it would only put a bandaid on a problem without getting into the root causes. I want to address the root causes.

P.S. I am a libertarian (small govt.), so I'm naturally predisposed to be against higher taxes (even on tobacco companies) because they always weaken the stability of our economy. I believe that universal health care becomes much more of a reality if we strip all the bandaids out of our tax system and allow the market to function normally. I realize this to be an unpopular (seemingly not compassionate?) viewpoint, but I will always put this kind of issue in the lap of the parents, and that is what I do here. I've seen too many horrible parents outsource the blame, and SCHIP only allows them to continue to do so.

Peter said...

Dwight, if you are listening, I encourage you to read (if you haven't already) my e-mail discussion with David Freddoso. I agree with your take that bandaid solutions are not the best, and that we need to go after root causes. The real question is, what do we do in the mean time - while the root causes are slowly being fixed? I prefer not to leave some children on the outside looking in. In essence, I think your choice of parental education vs. SCHIP expansion is a false choice. Will it cost money? You bet. But a society must protect its children - even from careless parents.