Robert Novak has written an interesting article on the proposal to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) from a 5 year budget of $25 billion to $75 billion. While this is a very popular program, he argues that this will help set up the health care debate after 2008 in favor of universal socialized medicine. Sen. Clinton is a principal sponsor of the bill.
An indirect but pervasive impact of Sen. Clinton’s grand design would be the impact in the same family of children who are insured by the government while their parents are covered privately. Would the children become accustomed to Washington taking care of them? Would the adults drop private insurance?
This bill also increases spending so, according to the PayGo budget rules, there must be a revenue increase or spending decrease. The two current proposals are to raise cigarette taxes or cut a popular private Medicare plan. Cigarette taxes are an unreliable source of revenue, and cutting the Medicare plan would move more healthcare directly under government control.
Making sure all children have healthcare is an admirable goal. It is not, however, something that the federal government should be involved with. States are capable of raising their own taxes and paying for children’s healthcare, the Federal government simply adds another level of bureaucracy.