Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The battle over the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program will come down to a veto overriding vote this Thursday. Public health policy pays my bills, so I've struggled quite a bit with this political battle. The bottom line is that this is a federal / state joint program to provide health coverage for poor children. The Democrats and some Republicans want to expand the program to cover more children whose parents may not be able to afford private insurance.

The political battle has to do with the definition of what constitutes poor, working class, and middle class. For a family of two parents and two children, if the father works full-time at a small business making $60,000 a year and the mother works part-time at Wal-Mart making $20,000 a year, are they poor? No. Can the parents afford to buy health insurance for their two children? Probably not. We all known Wal-Mart offers shitty insurance, and what if the father's small business doesn't offer insurance either? The Democrats want to offer goverment health insurance to the children in this case study. President Bush says, "No."

While I understand some of Bush's points, I side with the children. As a wealthy nation, we have a responsibility to take care of our children. We cannot depend on private employers. No matter how you define the poor, working, or middle class, we cannot risk the lives of the chidren.

Health care, not war!



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