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« Frontline on the line | Main | Another reason to keep a fully stocked bar »

Jul 30, 2007


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Alan Cone Bulluck

If Krugman loves Hugo Chavez so much, why doesn't he move to Venezuela?

Ed Cone

What a cogent analysis of the Schip funding question, ACB, as well as the larger issues involved. Thanks for contributing so thoughtfully to the conversation.

Jeffrey Sykes

If I understand David Broder correctly, Bush's opposition is to the way the SCHIP expansion is financed, not to covering more children. Bush is also opposed to the Dems plan because it allows states to use the money as they see fit, and some extend coverage to parents of children who qualify under SCHIP.

Both of which make Krugman's lede a bit disingenuous.

More here, including a nice map of the imbalance of funding to the states.

Ed Cone

Dilulio: New money for the purpose would come from raising the federal excise tax on cigarettes.

Several former Bush advisers have urged the White House to accept some such SCHIP plan. So have many governors in both parties and Republican leaders in the Senate. In 2003, Bush supported a Medicare bill that increased government spending on prescription drugs for elderly middle-income citizens by hundreds of billions of dollars. But he has pledged only $1 billion a year more for low-income children's health insurance. His spokesmen say doing any more for the "government-subsidized program" would encourage families to drop private insurance.

But the health-insurance market has already priced out working-poor families by the millions. With a growing population of low-income children, $1 billion a year more would be insufficient even to maintain current per-capita child coverage levels. Some speculate that SCHIP is now hostage to negotiations over the president's broader plan to expand health coverage via tax cuts and credits. But his plan has no chance in this Congress; besides, treating health insurance for needy children as a political bargaining chip would be wrong.


"Both of which make Krugman's lede a bit disingenuous."

Considering it's Krugman, that's no big surprise.

Your description of Krugman is charitable.

Ed Cone

So, anyway, about Schip...

Wait, wasn't that a bad Jack Nicholson movie based on a good Louis Begley book?

Jeffrey Sykes

The round table on Washington Week this past Friday night got into the details of the bill, past the emotion, the big numbers and the rhetorical statistics and into the nitty gritty.

Since your post last week about the coming debate I've been studying this issue and paying more attention to the details. One of which is that the truly poor are already covered by Medicare, and that SCHIP was intended for children of working families that exceed the Medicare threshold. Part of the expansion would allow some states to provide similar coverage to parents, which exceed the purpose of SCHIP.

Thus, I can understand the president's opposition to the bill in its current form. Broder predicted a long veto battle.

But I think the point should be made that the president has specific objections to the expansion bill that are much more complicated than "treating health insurance for needy children as a political bargaining chip".

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