Do we want health insurance for everyone or do we want government health insurance for everyone? The current system increases the chances that employee coverage for children will decrease, that more gaps will occur because of changes in jobs and the delays inherent in qualifying for government assistance. A simple flat tax deduction for health insurance would cure these ills for everyone.
Where’s the fun in taking away the deadline? The House has passed a “stop gap” bill to allow the current program and current funding to continue to November.
Bloggers and pundits are waiting breathlessly to see whether the President vetoes the House’s $35 Billion SCHIP expansion. Many of them, like the Wired and Bioethics.net posts are thinly veiled political hits against the current administration, ignoring the fact that President Bush proposed an instant “coverage” solution. (Some are in-your-face attacks)
On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal (subscription) notes that the House version is much more of a compromise than expected:
In some ways, after difficult negotiations, the bill turned out to be an unusual example of cooperation. In talks with two Senate Republicans, House Democrats compromised. They cut new spending from $50 billion to $35 billion, gave up an effort to cover legal immigrants and young adults, and dropped cuts to private health insurers operating in Medicare.
The final deal includes many nods to Republicans — though most Republicans in the House and Senate oppose it as an irresponsible expansion of government spending. It reduces federal funding for states that enroll children from families with incomes above about $60,000 a year for a family of four; it bars the federal government from allowing any more states to use CHIP funds to cover parents; and it phases out coverage of childless adults that some states include in CHIP.
To tilt the program toward poorer children, the bill calls for states not meeting enrollment benchmarks for the lowest income children by October 2010 to give up CHIP funds for enrollees above 300% of the poverty level.(emphasis mine)