…and now back to our regularly scheduled program: the ISSUES

While everyone was looking at the bright new shiny object otherwise known as Sarah Palin, Congress went back into session. Democrats decided their new strategy was to scrap plans to force a vote on the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance program, knowing full well it wouldn’t go anywhere due to King George and his mighty Veto.

Booo! Hiss!

I really wish they would have put this one up for a vote again, because I think it’s great campaign and political fodder to show Republicans as being against health care for children (again). Also to show a McCain no vote again (if he bothers to show up). But really, to take care of the millions of uninsured children in this nation.

Megan at Jezebel writes,

“Congress won’t take up SCHIP again despite the fact that Republicans don’t want to have to vote against it before an election because they’re scared of the veto pen. Wahhhh.”

However, that’s not entirely true and I understand Democrat reasoning

Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, a bipartisan advocacy group for children, said: “We definitely would prefer for Congress to vote on the legislation next year rather than this year. Why would you pass a bill now when, in six months, you could get a better bill covering more uninsured children?”

Of course, who knows what will happen in six months. Thus, my wish for this to get pushed to the forefront again…now.

A further explanation at Daily Kos:

… if you asked a Member of Congress for a deeper explanation, here’s what you’d likely get. The Congressional leadership is still looking to adjourn as close to its September 26th target dates. That leaves three full weeks left in the session. Even if the House were to arrange to bring another SCHIP bill to the floor quickly, which is a relatively simple matter under their rules, in the Senate, the Republicans would almost certainly bog the measure down, citing the surety of another Bush veto. And as we’ve discussed before, a determined minority in opposition can eat up a whole week or more in delaying a bill that’s supported by even a clear majority in the Senate. That’s more than a third of the time left in the session for the Senate. All for a bill that will be vetoed, and for which the leadership thinks we haven’t got the votes for an override.

Yes, there’d be some symbolic value in it. But the question the leadership will be asking itself is: are there other things we think we can pass in that time that do stand a chance of being enacted into law?

Not a very satisfying answer to the question of why there will likely be no SCHIP vote, but it’d be the most honest one.

The Go Health Insurance blog writes,

“We’re thinking that the Democrats are banking on Illinois Senator Barack Obama winning the presidential election in November. Senator Obama is a supporter of expanding SCHIP, and he’s even gone as far to say he’ll push for a federal mandate that all children have health insurance.”

Which is a good point to bring up, considering Senator Obama worked to expand health care to 150-thousand uninsured working parents and kids in Illinois, and does, as the blog mentions, support the expansion.

There are 9 million uninsured children in the United States. 9 MILLION.

If we can pay for a War, we can pay to take care of the kids of this country.

I can understand the debate over health insurance, but what I don’t understand is forcing the children of our country to suffer while we duke it out. In session, out of session. Veto, overrides, budgets. None of them seem to mean much when 9 million children wait in the wings.

Crossposted at BlogHer.com


  1. In addition to your well-stated points, they gave up all sorts of political points.

    Imagine the ad: George Bush and John McCain don’t care if your kids are sick. They don’t want them to see the doctor….

    But no. They squandered a terrific political opportunity to shame the Republicans because…why?

  2. I would take up jogging if someone could provide a logical argument AGAINST insuring our nation’s children. Jogging. If you know me, you know that hell will freeze over before I jog a single step. (Unless, of course, I’m being chased by a polar bear, and with Palin around, the likelihood of that happening = also slim.)

  3. I don’t have a problem insuring children.

    I have a question, though.

    Out of those 9 million children, how many are the children of illegal immigrants? Are we going to have to be burdened with having to cover the health care costs for people who do not come here legally? What is going to be done to be sure that legal children of America get their needs met first? Or is it going to be blind to legal status?

    And what happens under universal healthcare? What happens to SCHIP then? Wouldn’t all people, including children be covered?

    Just asking.


  4. Queen of Spain says:

    Becca: from the time’s article

    ” Hispanic, black and Asian-American members of Congress have complained that the bill does not provide coverage for legal immigrants who are now generally barred from benefits under Medicaid and the children’s health program during their first five years in the United States.

    Many Democrats would like to lift those restrictions. But if they tried to do so, they could draw Congress into a bitter debate over immigration policy.”

    Personally, I think illegal and legal immigrant children should be taken care of. ALL children should be taken care of.

    You can also see how this works under Senator’s Obama’s plan in the link I provided above…it’s a pdf


  5. McCain is anti-government health plans, as everyone knows. I do find it ironic that he has government coverage that he’s not complaining about. My understanding is the the senate plan is top-notch.

    Back to the current issue of uninsured kids, it’s outrageous. Anyone remember Bush saying a few months back that “there’s no problem with healthcare, anyone can go to the emergency room”. They are all out of touch.

  6. This issue was always important to me, but now it’s even more so. When Aaron was laid off in June, we hoped he’d have a new job quickly. Now it’s September, and there’s nothing in sight.

    Our daughters were uninsured until last week, because we couldn’t afford the crazy amount COBRA wanted to charge us to keep our health insurance. The girls are now benefiting from SCHIP with their new paper Medicare cards. However, if we make too much any one month from our freelance income, we could lose their coverage. Until Aaron can find a job with insurance, we have to make sure to keep ourselves “poor enough” to keep health insurance for our children, or we’d better make a fortune to afford the private plans out there. (Many of which don’t even want to touch Cordy because of her autism.)

    Healthcare needs reformed. No child in this country should have access to quality healthcare restricted.

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