Monday, August 20, 2007

Take This Bill and SCHIP It

Deroy augments and adds to my arguments:

1. "Washington already lets 14 states cover 670,000 'boys' and 'girls,' up to age 25, some of whom have been drinking legally for four years and voting for seven. Ninety-two percent of Minnesota’s SCHIP budget insures adults."

2. Hillary's "proposal, like the House Democrats’ bill, would cover children in families up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), double today’s target. Thus, a family of four making $82,600 could receive federal-government medicine. Meanwhile—the Heritage Foundation’s Rea Hederman estimates—70,000 'American families are both poor and high-income—simultaneously.' They qualify for SCHIP and the Alternative Minimum Tax."

3. "77 percent of children between double and triple FPL and 89 percent between 300 and 400 percent of FPL already have private health insurance, notes Cato Institute scholar Michael Cannon."

4. "Senate Democrats would fund this extravaganza via a 156 percent cigarette-tax hike—from 39 cents to $1 per pack. Heritage forecasts that 22 million new smokers would have to light up by 2017 to keep SCHIP afloat. So, SCHIP promises to improve children’s health while exploiting adult tobacco addiction."

5. The NYT reports that in addition to redefining eligibility, the bill also redefines geography, by quietly instructing federal officials to treat certain hospitals as if they were located elsewhere, where compensation from Medicare is substantially higher.

6. Bluey notes that language eliminating the Medicare trigger has been stripped out.

Update (8/30/07):

7. Cato is hosting a Hill briefing on September 13, nicely titled "Sinking SCHIP." The event's description is equally well-stated: "Congress has approved legislation that will increase the tax on tobacco, which is paid mostly by poor people, to fund government health insurance for nonpoor people."