Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, July 09, 2007

And the rubber meets the road . . .

the leather smacks the chin, push comes to shove, and the fan hits the shit. The battle over the Supplemental Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) is about to be joined. John Iglehart lays it out for you in NEJM, and as has been their habit of late (attempting to buy me off with half-measures), the editors have made this article on a matter of supreme public importance available to, yup, the public, even those who lack a medical degree or a faculty appointment. (So very bountiful of them.)

Anyway, as Iglehart explains, the Dems (and not a few members of the Republic Party) want to put an additional $5 billion a year into the program, in order to get all children of the working poor into the program. Some want to go further, expanding coverage to middle class families as well. Why do they want to do this? Because S-CHIP works: it gets kids covered who wouldn't otherwise be covered, and that means a healthier future for them and a better future for Americans, which we are proud to be.

I'm sure you can guess what's next: the Resident wants to shrink the program, not expand it. Robert Pear in the NYT explains why:

Administration officials have denounced the Democratic proposal as a step toward government-run health care for all. . . . White House objections to the Democratic plan are “philosophical and ideological,” said Allan B. Hubbard, assistant to the president for economic policy. In an interview, he said the Democrats’ proposal would move the nation toward “a single-payer health care system with rationing and price controls.”

You're in the groove, Allan. You have nailed it down, knocked it on the noggin, and told it like it is. Yup. Uhuh. Sí, oui, da, yes indeedy, you betcha, you got that right bro. Word. So let's get ready to rumble.

Oh yeah -- Just to put this in perspective, the occupation of Iraq costs $3 billion a week. So Hubbard is definitely right - it's not about the money.

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