Sick children left behind

August 29, 2007 | By | 2 Replies More

As Eliott Spitzer writes:  

SCHIP is a program that provides health care to children whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private health insurance.

It’s a program that provides medical care, including preventive medical care, to innocent children.  According to the Bush Administration, we shouldn’t offer it, because these families can supposedly drive their kids to hospital emergency rooms for their preventative care.

These kids are from families that don’t make much, in the range of $51,625 for a family of four.  These are the working poor and the working middle class.  To put this in perspective, the cost of insurance for a family of four is closing in on $1000/month.  What are the odds that a family making in the range of $51,625 is shelling out 20% of their gross income for health insurance?

What should a responsible government do to make certain that children who are not covered by Medicaid (these children aren’t) are covered?   It’s difficult to find an issue where the differences in ideology between conservatives and progressives are more stark. 

To learn more, see the video at this site. 


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Category: Health, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Of all the reasons President Bush and his conservative allies have given for opposing an expansion of government-financed health insurance for children, the one that sounds most persuasive is that a lot of these kids–or, more precisely, their families–don't need the help.

    The conservatives are wrong to make these arguments, according to Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    When a child is enrolled in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Schip), the positive results can be dramatic. For example, after asthmatic children are enrolled in Schip, the frequency of their attacks declines on average by 60 percent, and their likelihood of being hospitalized for the condition declines more than 70 percent.

    Regular care, in other words, makes a big difference. That’s why Congressional Democrats, with support from many Republicans, are trying to expand Schip, which already provides essential medical care to millions of children, to cover millions of additional children who would otherwise lack health insurance.

    But President Bush says that access to care is no problem — “After all, you just go to an emergency room” — and, with the support of the Republican Congressional leadership, he’s declared that he’ll veto any Schip expansion on “philosophical” grounds.

    It must be about philosophy, because it surely isn’t about cost. One of the plans Mr. Bush opposes, the one approved by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the Senate Finance Committee, would cost less over the next five years than we’ll spend in Iraq in the next four months. And it would be fully paid for by an increase in tobacco taxes.

    Paul Krugman, NYT. "An Immoral Philosophy"

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