Bush Sticks With SCHIP Rules; Sticks it to Kids

Which is more important, corporate profits or healthy kids? Our President made himself clear when he told the Washington Post:

“My concern is that when you expand eligibility [for SCHIP] . . . you’re really beginning to open up an avenue for people to switch from private insurance to the government.”

Can’t have that, can we? People, this is the line in the sand. I hope this turns into a mega-campaign issue.  So far, Bush 1, the rest of us, 0. But it ain’t over ’til it’s over. In the Albany Times Union:

September 7, 2007 at 1:51 pm by Jay Jochnowitz, State Editor — The Associated Press reports that the Bush administration has rejected New York’s request to ease the federal rules on eligiiblity for public children’s health insurance plans.

The decision appears to put New York one step closer to suing the federal government as Gov. Eliot Spitzer earlier threatened.

“We’re moving in that direction, but I’m not sure the decision’s been made yet,” said Spitzer spokesman Paul Larrabee.

The new guidelines require states to have already enrolled at least 95 percent of poor children — those in families earning below 200 percent of poverty level — in public health programs before expanding the plans to allow those from families with higher incomes. program currently allows children The state wants to allow children with family incomes of 400 percent of federal poverty level, about $68,680 for a family of three, to participate.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services said New York has yet to reach the 95 percent threshhold, and “has not demonstrated that its program operates in an effective and efficient manner with respect to the core population of targeted low-income children.”

When they published the new SCHIP rules, the Bush Administration had announced, in effect, that States such as New York had been sneaky — expanding a program designed for low income kids to include kids and families with middle incomes. No doubt this was perceived as most unpatriotic in an America of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.

I say, go Governor Sptizer, go.  Sue them. Here is where we need a steamroller.

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