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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Kids First?

David Freddoso on SCHIP on National Review Online takes on two key parts of the SCHIP debate. First is the Bush administration's new rules that states will have to insure low-income kids first, before subsidizing higher income familes and to try and reduce the "crowd-out effect" of SCHIP (though as I have noted, such limits may reduce crowd-out in the short-term, but for a government program continuing in perpetuity the long-term crowd-out will remain).

The administration’s new rules seem pretty reasonable — even tame. They would make states insure 95 percent of poor children (below 200 percent of the poverty level) before diverting their federal grants on the middle class (above 250 percent). Critics note that no state has put 95 percent of its uninsured children on SCHIP, but this would suggest that states have failed their mission, not that they should start giving handouts to people who can easily insure their own children.

In order to prevent non-needy families and their employers from dropping private coverage and putting children on the dole, the administration will also require non-needy children to be uninsured for a year before they are eligible for SCHIP.

More on these new rules can be found here, while Governor Rendell and Congressman Altmire criticize these rules here. (I would add that Rep. Almire's implication that, "Relatively few families applying for CHIP have access to affordable health insurance through the private market" is wrong, even before expansion to higher-income families.)

Second, Creddosa points out that this is all part of a plan to move to taxpayer-financed health care for all--kids and adults, rich and poor. He even cites the HillaryCare action plan where this "It for the kids" tactic is mapped out.

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