Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bush Administration Undermines States' Attempts to Increase Children's Access to Adequate Health Care

Progressive States Network is reporting that on last Friday night President Bush quietly signed new SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) restrictions on states that expand coverage to children in families earning more than $51,000 for a family of four. States have to:
  • Show they've enrolled 95% of children below 200% of poverty who are eligible for either Medicaid or SCHIP (no state has achieved 95% enrollment and, under Bush's budgets, none ever will).
  • Prevent children from leaving private coverage; the new guidelines say states should charge premiums that approximate private coverage and impose a one-year waiting period, during children children are uninsured.
  • Show that children's coverage by the private market has not decreased by more than 2% over the past five years.
In true partisan style, the restrictions fall most heavily on blue states that have tried to give their working-class children the same access to health care that middle- and upper-classes enjoy.

They won't affect us here in Tennessee, where we apparently care more about protecting the health insurance industry than our own children. Those second and third bullets should be particularly protective of private insurance corporations and deadly to many childen's well-being. Mandating private coverage is another form of subsidizing industry and sacrificing universal access to healthcare for kids, who have no control over whether they can afford treatment.

1 comment:

  1. We've been talking about this over at my place and I have to say the conservatives really don't seem to have an argument, other than "socialism is icky and this looks like socialism, so it's icky." Which is pretty lame, if you ask me.