Who Hates the Children? 
Thursday, January 29, 2009, 11:59 PM
Health insurance for children? What sort of miserable human being could possibly oppose health insurance for children? Do you also hate puppies and laughter? The answer is ME. I'm opposed to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

You're going to have a rough time sizing this one up because everyone loves children and wants them to be covered by health insurance, but also because the debate occurring in the media rarely mentions the actual dollar figures involved. And I'm not referring to the annual cost or anything like that, which mostly involves a number that the human mind has trouble understanding. The question people should be asking is What is the income cutoff for this program? The answer is three times the poverty level, which according to the New York Times comes out to $66,150 for a family of four.

Now I understand that $66,150 isn't comfortable for a four person family, and in some parts of the country that can be quite tight. But $66,150 is most certainly middle class, and I don't think that government programs should be providing free health care to the middle class -- even middle class children. The problem with health care today is that the person receiving the service (you) is completely disconnected from the actual cost of the service. Not only is your health care covered by an insurance company, but that insurance company is probably paid for by your employer. The result is that nobody cares how much procedures cost because someone else is picking up the tab. And guess what happens when the consumer doesn't care about cost? The service provider charges more and looses any incentive to run efficiently. So the problem with health care today isn't that too many people are uninsured -- that's simply a natural symptom of the problem. The root problem is that health care costs too much. Setting up a massive government entitlement that provides free health care to middle class children further destroys any incentive for hospitals to lower costs and ensures that the cost of health care will continue to rise, until it either bankrupts the government or reaches the point where only the wealthy can afford it.

As a side note, let me bring your attention to the provision that now allows legal immigrants to benefit. Now having come from a (somewhat recent) immigrant background, I have deep respect for immigrants. But I believe that special taxpayer programs should only benefit citizens, not those who choose to make this place their temporary home. Of course, there are those who disagree:
“The bill would end an inequity that we have been trying to eradicate for more than a decade,” said Jennifer M. Ng’andu, a health policy specialist at the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic rights group.


For those of you who don't know "La Raza" means "the race." I mean, seriously? Your advocacy group is called THE RACE? As in "we're not even going to pretend that we support racial harmony because that would be a big fat lie"? If a white person (or even a half white person like me) were to start a similarly named group they would be lynched.

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