Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Children's Health Care [UPDATED]
The SCHIP expansion passed the House with big numbers, but a handful of Republican votes short of being able to overcome the President's veto. Thoughts:

1. Democrats are in a tough spot for now. If they let the current law expire, it looks like they're playing politics with children's health care. If they extend the current law and funding rate, it looks like a) they're giving in, and b) Bush is right the current state is acceptable.

2. On the other hand, this vote should be central to a national strategy that paints Republicans as obstructionist and more concerned about low taxes than about providing health coverage to children. It won't help us bash too many particular Republicans (the endangered ones voted for it) in Congress, but brand the party and hopefully put the screws to the GOP nominee: was Bush right to veto the bill?

3. I'm just about sick of Dennis Kucinich's holier-than-thou bullshit. You will notice he voted no, presumably because it's not a single payer system that does away with the for-profit health-care industry like we all would prefer. because in the compromise with Republicans, Democrats dropped their demand that legal immigrant children be added to the program's expansion. Noble as that may be, it still gives up the possible in demand of the apparently impractical (knowing Bush has already announced a veto and trying to achieve a veto-proof majority). This bill wouldn't drop coverage for those children, it just doesn't expand it as far as he (and all of us) would like. I can hope that if his was the deciding vote he might rethink, but who knows. So, it's not specifically for the reasons I originally thought - thanks Lewberry for the research (I prefer the more scholarly ASSUME method, but whatev), but I'm still sick of him. Looks like I'm not the only one.

4. I'm sick, too, of liberals that bash Dems for being spineless. I'm looking at you Bill Maher. This SCHIP legislation is both bold and practical - would be helpful and represents some compromise to achieve considerable GOP support. Dems are doing their jobs here. Republicans are getting in the way - and the law allows that because we don't live in a BillMaherocracy.

What should Dems do? Let the program expire? (How did that work for the Republican Congress when they let the govt. shut down in a spat with Clinton over the budget?)Give it a month extension and try again wiht the same bill? Tweak it and hope for more support? (doubtful) And what to do if there are simply not enough GOP votes for anything but status quo?

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