Thursday, July 26, 2007

SCHIP Debate Reaches New Heights Of Stupidity and Snark

I was following the SCHIP reauthorization debate when it wasn't cool. I thought I had heard all the really stupid arguments against reauthorization and expansion of the program, including the President's objection that SCHIP reauthorization might lead “down the path to government-run health care for every American,” but as Matthew Ygleseas reports John Boehner goes him one better arguing against SCHIP reauthorization because the the expanded program will

"(Drag) people out of private health insurance to put them into a government-run program. (It) is ‘Hillary care’ come back.”
Of course, the program doesn't mandate anyone join and is denied to children with adequate health insurance.

The shear stupidity of opposing the reauthorization and proper funding of a popular and successful program for children on the basis of conservative ideology and a burning desire to help tobacco companies has lead to some pretty good snarks.

For example, Dick Meyers of notes
Having already proven its incompetence in foreign and fiscal affairs, and its arrogance toward the Constitution and the other branches of government, the Bush administration is now determined to show skeptics that it can also be absolutely hypocritical.
Meyers quickly follows that up with a second.
A very experienced colleague suggested to me the other day that President Bush is determined not to squander his historic unpopularity.
Steve Benen of the Carpetbagger Report delivers a real zinger.
As part of a reminder of why congressional Republicans lost their majorities, a handful of top GOP leaders have decided to align themselves with Bush and against healthcare for children.
Again Yglesias on Boehner's fear:
But note here that while it's true that there will be some displacement of private health insurance here, nobody would actually be "dragged" out of the private sector. Rather, people would shift out of it if and only if SCHIP was a better overall deal. Which, of course, it almost certainly will be. Which, as Boehner kind of explained, is exactly why Republicans are dead set against expanding it.
The best snark of all comes from Brendan Nyhan who has been relentless in his reporting of this story. Boehner is really pleading
Tie me to the mast! Don't let me be tempted into government coverage!
Looking back at the stupid arguments advanced by the President and his cronies it is clear that as long as they are in charge crony profits and conservative theory trump all. We can't have health care for every American child can we?

I will leave you with a comment from Representative Diana DeGette, (D-Co), a leading proponent of the House bill, reported in the New York Times
“For the longest time, I was mystified why Republicans would oppose expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to kids who are eligible but not enrolled. Now I realize. They are trying to deny us a political victory. They want to be able to say that Democrats can’t get anything done.

“Unfortunately, Republicans are pursuing this strategy on the backs of poor children.”
Maybe the only way we can avoid going insane is to snark at the unrelenting evil of Republicans who would deny medical care to poor American children to deny Democrats a political victory. I guess living in denial is what being a Heritage Foundation Conservative is all about.