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Presidential A#*holery Continues re: SCHIP

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Under the headline “White House Acts to Limit Health Plan for Children,” I just read this gem:

The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families.

Administration officials outlined the new standards in a letter sent to state health officials on Friday evening, in the middle of a month-long Congressional recess. In interviews, they said the changes were aimed at returning the Children’s Health Insurance Program to its original focus on low-income children and to make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage.

After learning of the new policy, some state officials said today that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children by imposing standards that could not be met.

So. During a recess, the president acts to prevent implementation of a law that Congress has passed and for which it could likely override what would be a very unpopular veto. Because the Bushies are so afraid (at least ostensibly) of the specter of socialism (so far off at this point that it’s laughable), that they prevent kids (KIDS!) from getting health insurance.

It gets worse. One of the conditions the Bush administration wants to impose is to mandate that states which set their cutoff for SCHIP participation at a level the federal government deems too high (above about $50,000 per year for a family of four) must require a family to be uninsured for a year before the children of that family can benefit from SCHIP. So a kid must be uninsured for a whole year before she or he can be covered by SCHIP. Nevermind what might happen during that year.

Jaw on the ground yet? Mine is.

Go read the whole article to find out more about the Bush administration’s vindictiveness.

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