Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jim Marshall: The immigrants made me vote against SCHIP.

From Political Insider, Marshall's excuse for voting against health care for poor sick children:

Marshall was the only Democrat who didn’t vote for the bill that passed Tuesday with a less-than-veto-proof margin. We’re told that Marshall had several problems with the measure: the size and instability of the tobacco tax increase; the lack of a standard applications for every state; and a lax identification process that Marshall — like Republican Nathan Deal — said would make the program easy for illegal immigrants to abuse.

Aside for the expected anti-immigrant excuse, there is still more idiocy in that statement: not only did he vote against health care for poor sick children, he voted against it because there wasn't enough red tape and because the red tape was not standardized! Oh, Jim. I love a good initialized and numbered form as much as the next person, but I think I could sacrifice it if it meant health care for poor sick children.

That said, I do admire his refusal to repeat the other Republican talking point, which goes a little like this: "SCHIP is a good program that has protected the health of many very poor children, which is why it would be a disaster to expand it to protect the health of children who are slightly less poor." To wit, Lynn Westmoreland: "They are drastically expanding a well-run and popular program for the neediest Americans into HillaryCare for Kids."

Less inept is Phil Gingrey, who would have a good point if what he said were true: "Rather it diverts precious resources from those who need it the most in order to cover adults and already privately insured children." But that's a lie:

But [Bush's] rationale is all wrong, according to a study by the Urban Institute (UI). The reality is that nearly three-quarters of SCHIP users (72 percent) were not covered by private insurance six months before they enrolled in the program, according to the study.

Another 14 percent lost coverage in the six months before they enrolled in SCHIP due to a lost job, an employer dropping coverage or a change in family structure such as divorce, separation or death of the covered spouse.

This leaves only 14 percent of SCHIP participants who substituted the public program for private coverage.The study points out that more than half of those people (8 percent) said they could not afford private coverage.

As many as 5 million uninsured children would be covered under the SCHIP reauthorization Bush is threatening to veto, according to another study by Families USA.

That Phil Gingrey. I had let the disco moustache fool me, but I've come to believe that he's far more slick than most Georgia Republicans. Isn't saying much, but a man who can lie like that, he has a bright future in Republican politics.