A White House spokesman explained that the president will veto a proposal in Congress because it “would dramatically expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, … encouraging many to drop private coverage, to go on the government-subsidized program.”

One can see why the President would not want to help poorer children get health insurance at low cost. We already knew he doesn’t care about black people, and had long suspected his antipathy to the poor.

The proposal in Congress would add $25-40 billion to the program, which is administered by the states. The new funding would be paid for by an increase in the cigarette tax. Raising that tax would have the added benefit of reducing smoking, a major risk factor for parents and children. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the added spending would cover 4.1 million uninsured children, ensuring preventive care in a critical period.

The President also objects that the bill does not include his proposals to reform health insurance, but the Senate chairman responsible for the bill explained that the Children’s Health Insurance Program must be funded by September, and the unpopular President’s suggestions don’t have enough traction to move through Congress on that timeline. Senator Baucus, at least, would rather put children’s health above political concerns.

Comments

  1. #1 Shane P. Brady
    July 17, 2007

    I’m glad he’s vetoing it. They should find 25-40 billion in waste to trim first, before they raise taxes.

  2. #2 Mousie Cat
    July 17, 2007

    How about trimming $12 billion per month by ending our involvement in Iraq? Or how about the complete waste of most Republican Senators’ and Representatives’ salaries and benefits?

    But back to the children’s health care issue. It would be funded by an increase in the CIGARETTE TAX, Shane. Not income tax, according to Josh’s post.

  3. #3 Shane Brady
    July 19, 2007

    I didn’t say anything about income taxes, and raising cigarette taxes is still raising taxes for no good reason than they’re too lazy to look at the budget and find waste.

  4. #4 Josh Rosenau
    July 19, 2007

    First, refusing to expand access to health insurance until you can find wasteful spending creates a dubious equivalence between insurance and waste (that it’s better to have the waste than the insurance). It also implies that there is waste on that scale, a dubious assumption.

    Furthermore, there is a very good reason to tax cigarettes in particular. Cigarettes cause cancer, emphysema, and all the other problems conveniently listed on their containers. In other words, they cause health problems. Second hand smoke causes illness in children. Using cigarette taxes to pay for children’s health insurance makes all sorts of sense, since it taxes the people causing part of the problem, and discourages them from engaging in activities which raise the cost of health insurance. Win-win.

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