Does Healthcare Reform Mean The Death Of SCHIP: Kill The Bill

You know SCHIP, it’s the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that Democrats were screaming bloody murder about not all that long ago. The Democrats were mad because Bush vetoed two bills that would expand the program. Screamed and hollared and whined about how children were going to suffer and now Democratic hypocrisy is coming home to roost From the Columbia Journalism Review:

It turns out that the House indeed wants to repeal the program and require kids to get coverage via the insurance exchange, the government’s soon-to-be gigantic brokerage service. Their parents, of course, would be getting subsidies to help buy coverage, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat no less, touted the advantages of dumping SCHIP. One advantage: the program wouldn’t be subject to the periodic and occasionally problematic Congressional reauthorizations that threaten its existence. Dingell said kids could have the same insurance as their parents—an incentive to force parents to cover their kids. (Sometimes parents, daunted by bureaucratic red tape, don’t enroll their children even if they are eligible.)

But in return, kids would be hurt, says Alison Buist, director of child health at the Children’s Defense Fund. She told me that if the House provision were to take effect, kids might lose some valuable and comprehensive benefits now available to kids on Medicaid and SCHIP. If parents, strapped for cash, had to shop in the exchange, they might choose low-cost insurance with skimpy benefits and pay more out-of-pocket than SCHIP currently requires them to pay. SCHIP rules limit a family’s out-of-pocket costs to five percent of their income. States don’t even impose the five percent, Buist said, because they have found parents with low incomes couldn’t pay that much. So it seems that there’s a cost shift here—making poor families pay more so that sick (and most likely older) people buying in the exchange would pay less.

First Focus, a children’s advocacy group, released a study by the consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide which found that families, depending on their incomes, would pay between seven and thirty-five percent of their health costs out-of-pocket compared to two percent or less under SCHIP. Researchers concluded: “If children were moved from SCHIP to the exchange plans as currently drafted in the House and Senate, the out-of-pocket costs for children would increase rather dramatically.

Tell me again how this bill is good for anybody? Toss in the public mandate and most of America is getting screwed.

5 Responses

  1. Told ya two months ago the Dems were cowards.

  2. Something tells me you thought you had the “add post” function set to “html” when it was actually set to “visual”. Here’s how to add links that appear as proper links when usual the “visual” posting option.

    Select the word or words you wish to have as the link. Click on the link icon above the text field, a pop-up will appear. In the link field enter the url for the link, remembering to include the “http://”. Or paste the link if you have it on your clipboard. Then click on “insert” at the bottom of the pop-up, which will then disappear and the selected word or words will appear in your draft as a link.

  3. Nah, this was posted via email, which always does weird stuff – especially to links.

  4. According to what I have read, the bill extends health care insurance to 30 million people that don’t have it. While it remains to be seen what effect this will have on children’s insurance and the families of those children, there is no doubt what “killing” it will do to the insurance of 30 million people. Not to mention the minor detail that killing this bill, ugly tho it may be, will end chances for any health care reform for another 16 years or so when the number of uninsured Americans could exceed 52 million. Nice logic.

  5. It does so by forcing them to by overpriced crappy insurance (that will cost something like 8% of their annual income) and uses the IRS to collect fines on those who don’t get insurance. I think the idea that not passing this bill will result in healthcare not being done for another generation to be wildly overstated.

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