SCHIP's Misplaced Priorities

In "Spending Veto Is Too Little And Too Late" (On The Left, Oct. 5), Eugene Robinson misstates the facts surrounding President Bush's veto of a bill to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program. 

Robinson writes that the authorization to cover children in families in New York earning up to $83,000 "is not in the bill Bush vetoed." In fact, Section 114(a) of the legislation would allow New York to go to $83,000, with federal approval, and New Jersey to stay at $72,000. Also, any other state could go to $61,000 and get the generous SCHIP federal payment .

Section 116(g) of the legislation takes another step to reassure New York that it could put children in families up to $83,000 on taxpayer-supported health insurance. This would give states incentives to bring more affluent, already-insured children into the program rather than focusing on lower-income children who are uninsured and whose parents earn $41,000 or less–the original intent of the program.

The president has said repeatedly that he wants to sign an SCHIP bill that focuses on lower-income children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but can't afford private coverage.

Adding millions of middle-income children, many of whom already are insured, to the program would hurt rather than help the children who most need health insurance.

 

Grace-Marie Turner, President, Galen Institute, Alexandria, Va.

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

About the author

In "Spending Veto Is Too Little And Too Late" (On The Left, Oct. 5), Eugene Robinson misstates the facts surrounding President Bush's veto of a bill to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program. 

Robinson writes that the authorization to cover children in families in New York earning up to $83,000 "is not in the bill Bush vetoed." In fact, Section 114(a) of the legislation would allow New York to go to $83,000, with federal approval, and New Jersey to stay at $72,000. Also, any other state could go to $61,000 and get the generous SCHIP federal payment .

Section 116(g) of the legislation takes another step to reassure New York that it could put children in families up to $83,000 on taxpayer-supported health insurance. This would give states incentives to bring more affluent, already-insured children into the program rather than focusing on lower-income children who are uninsured and whose parents earn $41,000 or less–the original intent of the program.

The president has said repeatedly that he wants to sign an SCHIP bill that focuses on lower-income children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but can't afford private coverage.

Adding millions of middle-income children, many of whom already are insured, to the program would hurt rather than help the children who most need health insurance.

 

Grace-Marie Turner, President, Galen Institute, Alexandria, Va.

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

About the author