SCHIP jr Posted by: mcq
on Thursday, October 25, 2007
Apparently the Dems are going to try again on the SCHIP program. The new bill, soon to be unveiled, will include:
First, there would be no funding for families making above 300 percent of the federal poverty line, which amounts to about $62,000 a year for a family of four. This is meant to address GOP criticism that too many middle income families might become eligible for government-subsidized health care.
Second, the new bill would cut off childless adults on SCHIP within one year of passage of the legislation, addressing concerns that too many adults are taking advantage of the program
And third, the legislation before the House Thursday would require more aggressive verification of Social Security numbers of SCHIP applicants, a move meant to assuage concerns that illegal immigrants could use bogus Social Security numbers to receive the health benefits. Under the Democratic proposal, applicants would have to provide more secondary documentation of citizenship if the Social Security Administration cannot confirm the applicant is a citizen.
Democrats have offered one other carrot for Republicans who opposed the first bill - they plan to require states to develop plans to prevent families with private insurance from dumping that coverage in favor of government coverage under SCHIP.
First, why 300%? Why not the present provisions?
Second, how do you like the fact that there's now acknowledgment that the present SCHIP program, a program for children, includes adults. Taking "single adults" out of the program isn't good enough. All adults should come out of the program, without exception.
Third, again acknowledgment of the fact that there is no requirement to check citizenship status before granting benefits. Does that surprise anyone?
Finally, federal program which requires states to come up with plans to keep those that can and are buying their own insurance from migrating to the federal program? Yeah, that'll work.
Unfortunately, this may be just enough to get the required number of Republicans to pass it with a veto proof majority.
Even though a majority of Republicans will likely oppose this bill, they'll have to work even harder to keep another dozen or so in their party from jumping ship. The Senate already has a veto-proof majority backing the SCHIP expansion, so there will be enormous pressure on politically vulnerable House Republicans to switch their position and support the latest bill.
These seem like mostly cosmetic changes and, in the end, it accomplishes the Democrat goal - expansion of the program.
"These seem like mostly cosmetic changes and, in the end, it accomplishes the Democrat goal - expansion of the program."
I feel the real Democrat goal is to be able to continue to bludgeon Bush (and by extension, all Republicans) with the ’Bush hates kids’ mantra - all the way through the election. I would be surprised to see this version, or the next, or the next, pass into law. Each version will appear to be a compromise, but will be designed to have a ’poison pill’ which makes it impossible for enough Republicans to vote in favor.
There’s no point in passing SCHIP if you’re confident that HillaryCare! is only a year or so away. But to be able to cynically parade sick kids in front of the cameras while claiming that Bush and the Reps hate children - that’s election year gold.
"Second, how do you like the fact that there’s now acknowledgment that the present SCHIP program, a program for children, includes adults. Taking "single adults" out of the program isn’t good enough. All adults should come out of the program, without exception."
Proponents of the expansion argue that more eligible children are enrolled when parents are also included in the program. Apparently the incentive is that there is less hassle than that of having to deal with two different systems. Basically affirming the notion that people who are a net expense to society are also disposed to being derelict in their parental responsibilities. Heaven forbid that they be forced to fill out two sets of applications. The states are keen on the policy because the federal matching for SCHIP is more generous than that for Medicaid.