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Healthcare…Now With 1 Million Fewer Kids!

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Just so the consequences of Bush’s veto of S-CHIP are 100% clear: it’s not just that kids who need health insurance but aren’t currently covered are screwed. Kids who are currently receiving health insurance through S-CHIP may also be facing the S-CHOP (har har). Take, for example, some 11,000 kids in New Jersey. But wait! There’s more. Because while New Jersey will sweep 11,000 kids out of healthcare, that’s a small number compared to the nationwide estimates. From today’s Times article:

According to health care experts, an estimated one million children across the country would be phased out of the insurance program over the next few years under the $30 billion five-year plan proposed by President Bush.

Now, I know what some of you are going to say (not pointing fingers, just sayin’). You’re going to say, well, look at the family identified in the article. These are exactly the kinds of people who should NOT be getting government health insurance. She makes almost $50,000/year for goodness sake!

They are not looking at the consequences of this for families and children that are going to lose out,” said Ann Martinez, 28, an administrative assistant. She said that she earns too much money to qualify for Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, but that she cannot afford the $500 a month it would cost her for coverage for her two children.

Ms. Martinez, who earns $47,000 a year, is covered under her employer’s health plan, but her children are covered by New Jersey Family Care….

But figure her take home pay is much less than $47,500; $500/month for childhealthcare for her kids = $6,000/year. A. Ton. of. Money.

Maybe we should stop focusing on who might make just enough to eke by on private health insurance (see: the brouhaha over the Frosts last week, who, btw, do not make enough to eke by), and start asking why insurance costs so damn much to begin with. All you nutters who think Bush’s veto was right (and/or support his new offer — yes, that means you too McCain) go on and get rid of the health insurers’ lobby, then let’s talk.

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