Socialized medicine for “kids”

Robert Novak's picture

WASHINGTON — There is no need to wait until a new president is elected next year for the great national health care debate. It is underway right now, disguised as a routine extension of an immensely popular, non-controversial 10-year-old program of providing coverage to poor children.

In fact, this proposal is the thin edge of the wedge to achieve the longtime goal of government-supplied universal health insurance and the suffocation of the private system.

The Senate Finance Committee was scheduled to mark up this portentous legislation expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) today [Thursday], but disagreement over the size of the program and how to pay for it forced postponement. Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s version would triple SCHIP’s current five-year cost of $25 billion to a level of $75 billion.

That would grant federal largesse to more than just poor “kids” (as politicians endearingly call children). An estimated 71 percent of all American children in families of four making as much as $82,000 a year would become eligible, with states also continuing present coverage of adults under SCHIP.

But where to find money to cover the massive cost? Senators of both parties want to raise tobacco taxes, but that well is not bottomless, as existing taxes have reduced cigarette smoking.

Instead, House Democrats want to take money from private elements of Medicare instituted by the Bush administration. The overall effect would make three out of four American children accustomed to relying on government care no matter what course their parents take. In sum, SCHIP turns out to be socialized medicine for “kids” (and many adults).

A principal sponsor of the $75 billion program is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose hand is detected in health care struggles the past 15 years.

After the Clinton administration’s sweeping “Hillarycare” failed in 1994 and contributed to that year’s Republican takeover of Congress, the first lady miniaturized her goals by limiting coverage to poor children.

Republicans, led by Sen. Orrin Hatch in one of his several collaborations with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, had lost their revolutionary zeal after the government shutdown of 1995 and accepted SCHIP as a fallback position at a beginning outlay of $4 billion a year. It was the bargaining chip given President Bill Clinton in return for him signing the Deficit Reduction Act of 1997.

SCHIP over the past decade has been a beloved “kids” program whose faults were overlooked, much like the Head Start school program. The federal government has consistently granted waivers to permit 14 states to cover adults under SCHIP, which now cost $5 billion a year. Minnesota led the way, with 92 percent of money spent under the program going to adults.

The massive expansion was proposed by Sen. Clinton this year, furthering her promise of “step by step” advancement toward universal health care. Her proposal extends SCHIP to families at 400 percent of poverty (or $82,000 annually).
Hatch after 10 years is back again supporting a Democratic program along with Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Finance Committee’s ranking Republican. But they want a mere $55 billion (a $30 billion increase), compared with Rockefeller’s $75 billion, causing the postponement of today’s markup.

The Democratic congressional majority now faces the consequence of its “paygo” mandate to account for higher spending. The Senate’s preference for tobacco taxes runs into present overall cigarette taxes of more than one dollar a pack, lower legal cigarette purchases and reduced smoking typified by a 19 percent decline in New York City.

More creative funding comes with Rep. Pete Stark’s scheme in the House Ways and Means Committee for slashing the popular private Medicare program. That not only would fund an expanded SCHIP but move toward government monopoly over all health insurance.

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? The future is now for universal health care coverage, and President George W. Bush may soon face the decision of whether or not to veto it going into the election year.


login to post comments | Robert Novak's blog

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 4:40pm.

Hillary Care is on the move again. This time, she wants to expand government funded health care to include the children living at 400% of the poverty level ($82k/year up from $21k/year).

Gee, I wonder how she intends to pay for the 300-400% increase in costs of this program originally designed for 'poor children'.

Guess what folks, Hillary and the other socialists in congress will continue to raise the age, and income level of those eligible for this socialized health care until we all qualify and - you guessed it - we all pay for it. Of course, we will pay "from each according to our ability and to each according to their needs" as determined by the government.

Socialized health care is alive and well and growing one 'poor baby' step at a time under 'mama' Hillderbeast.

So, my advice is to start smoking heavily now and spend your retirement. You will not have to pay for health care by the time you get cancer and then your family can sue big tobacco for millions. It's cheaper than saving for retirement and more fun, it keeps you from buying health care for yourself and others, and it's cheaper and will leave more money to your family than buying life insurance.

By the way, who is going to invest their money in this new system and who is going to school to become a government controlled and regulated medical doctor or research scientist? After all it would only be a GS11- about the same as the new government TSA gals. Not I said the Mixer, not I.

If WWII had been covered by the Modern Media: Great Video

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 8:01pm.

What could you possibly have against something that is free? Besides, an increase in cigarette taxes in places like New York will be great for my smuggling business. I used to have to drive all the way to Canada with my load. Now I stop in NYC and make $20 a carton profit! Tax free by the way.

“…who is going to invest their money in this new system”? That would be you and me, my brother. Unless you plan on bailing out of the work force like I do. I’m sick of these pathetic, whining socialists. I’ve already cut back on my work time since we hit the 33% bracket (except for the Missouri to NYC cigarette runs). Rather than producing more for the economy I’ll just sit on my butt and figure out more ways to avoid paying taxes, enjoying my family, and trying to stay healthy. As soon as they put a block on the tax form that allows taxpayers to direct all of their tax into the defense budget I’ll start working more.

I’m also worried about the Canucks. Where are they going to go when they get sick if the U.S. socializes healthcare? And where will all their doctors migrate to? They’ve been coming here where they are allowed to practice medicine and get a decent return on their enormous investment of time, money and effort. But as a GS-11 that option might not look so good. I guess they can just become scuzz-ball ambulance-chasing lawyers like John ‘the mama’s boy’ Edwards. Putting doctors out of work is a lot more profitable than working as a doctor.


Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 8:37pm.

How is it I get called out as being an 'eggbeater' when there is so obviously a clone out here named Maximus, you know mixer - maximus - same ideas and leanings - both have an M and an X, we have got to be the same person.

Yet, I get canned as some 'eggbeater' chick or teenager.

As always, you are 'dead on' Maximus.

Santa Claus health care is coming to town.

If WWII had been covered by the Modern Media: Great Video

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 7:07am.

Personally, I am convinced that every single person in the USA should have free health care as determined by doctors and their supervisors.
Also, there should be free food terminals where people could go and get 25 pounds of free staples a week for free---you know: beans, rice, milk, butter, salt, side meat, flour, meal, etc. No more per week however due to some selling it for whiskey.
There should be shelters available for the homeless, and others who don't like home, where they are automatically showered and disinfected as they go in, and they sleep privately in
a small shell, enclosed for protection and where they are roused after eight hours for breakfast to go. Donated clothing could be picked up and put on as they leave.
Everyone making over $100,000 per year would be assessed $500 dollars per year to pay for this, although all of the other programs in existence now wouldn't be needed except for the ones for children (under 15).

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 9:21pm.

that Walter Williams is one of your favorite living economists. That would be too eerie.


Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 9:54pm.

See SWMBO's flattering comments about Williams ("a wannabe Rush Limpbaugh and shill for the faithfully hoodwinked") in her post "Denise, yes, I'm sure."

Haven't replied yet -- maybe later this week.

Guess SWMBO forgot to denigrate Thomas Sowell. Smiling

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 10:10pm.

The Citizen Online, swmbo

What would be much closer to the truth is that Walter Williams taught economics to Rush. He was a good student.


Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 1:59am.

Maybe SWMBO's still angry about not getting a Supreme Court appointment? Especially since Harriet Miers almost got one and Clarence Thomas somehow got on. Laughing out loud

We "Repulsivs" are such racists -- just "disgusting" how we treat ignorant "shills" like Walter Williams. Laughing out loud

Is PeachCare a part of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)?

Basmati: "PeachCare was set up as a safety net to provide health care to children through the age of 18 whose parents do not qualify for Medicaid." Is he correct about this?

Mixer's "favorite liberal" responded to my wondering whether PeachCare is misused (and we know that welfare never is) with "Human sewage like Denise Conner would deny children even the most basic of medical care." I thought that's what places like Fayette CARE Clinic do. I see that several churches and Christians have donated but nothing from the local Atheists, Secularists, & Humanists chapter or the NAACP. Smiling

I wonder how much "basic medical care" a place like FCC could provide with that $50,000 Edwards was given for his speech on poverty, or with the $5200+ a year that he spends on his hair and beauty treatments, or the millions that Bill Clinton and Carter and Jesse Jackson make with their speeches???

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 7:31am.

Find someone who has tried to get free care at Fayette Medical. They are sent elsewhere.
There are also many (many) women in PTC who spend more than 5200 dollars per year on primping. Why not Edwards? On uplift will cost that!

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 7:21am.

I was wondering what posts you were hanging out in. And here you are. D.C., I must say you and your conservatives are becoming a bit monotone: John Edwards' hair, John Edwards' speech fees, Hillary Clinton and Universal Healthcare, and a splash of immigration.

A few questions:

Ever wonder why we are the ONLY industrialised nation without universal healthcare (unless you're an overpaid career politician. We have no problem paying their healthcare premiums)?

How much is a person allowed to earn and still talk about poverty? Do the President, VP, Giuliani, Rupert Murdock make too much to ever say the word "poverty?"

Are you suggesting that in this current brand of conservatism people like Presidential candidates should give speeches pro bono?

Lastly, were you equally aghast when you found that Rudy Giuliani turned down a participative roll on the Iraq Study Group (with his great leadership on terrorism) to make PAID SPEECHES? He earned more than John Edwards ever dreamed of making for a speech, but because he never gave attention to the issue of poverty, does that make his stipend acceptable?

Happy fourth

Kevin "Hack" King

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 4:58am.

Glad to see your comments again! Smiling

Where have I been "hanging out"? With Ann Coulter, of course! Laughing out loud

(She'd probably qualify as one of Basmati's ghouls, bottom feeding scum, cockroaches, Christianists, whores, piggish thugs, amoral gutterslugs . . . . Well, you get the picture. Laughing out loud )

It's late (even later now that I've done some reading!) and I'll not be around much this week, but I'll think about your comments here and elsewhere (especially the ones about Ann Coulter) and post later this week (hopefully).


Dee Dee Myers, who served as White House Press Secretary for the first two years of the Clinton administration, commented on the Today Show about Edwards' "portray[ing] himself as a man of the people":

But I do think that in the short term the press is going to make an issue out of the fact that he talks a lot about poverty and he works for a hedge fund, which is a very lucrative investment vehicle available only to the wealthiest Americans. He talks about poverty but he lives in a huge house. He talks about poverty but he pays $400 for his haircut. Those may not be fair but in the short run I think they're going to cause him a little heartburn. You know, I don't think you need to be a consultant to a hedge fund or invest in a hedge fund to learn how capital markets work and how they affect poverty in this country, and I'm not sure that explanation sticks.

[It's the hypocrisy, Stupid! -- to borrow a phrase from the Ragin' Cajun Laughing out loud ]

Video clip from the Today Show.

"John Edwards Feeling Pretty" Laughing out loud

(I just love that song now that I have such a memorable mental picture to go with it!)

Should former presidents give speeches pro bono (to work for the good of the public rather than for a profit or income)? A suggestion: Offset earned income against pension income and expense allowances and only pay if he's (yes, I prefer a male president) been unable to earn any income that year! Laughing out loud

"Prior to passage by Congress of the Former Presidents Act (FPA) in 1958, retired presidents did not receive a pension. All living presidents in 1959 began to receive a pension of $25,000 per year, an office, and a staff. The pension has increased numerous times with Congressional approval. Retired presidents now receive a pension based on the salary of the current administration's cabinet secretaries (Executive Level I), which is $183,500 as of 2007. Some former presidents have also collected congressional pensions. The FPA, as amended, also provides former presidents with travel funds and mailing privileges."

"The National Taxpayers Union provides a Presidential Pension Graph that shows estimated pension benefits of former presidents. Bill Clinton stands to collect $7.29 million, the most of any living ex-president, while Ronald Reagan's pension is just over $2.5 million."


"Ever wonder why we are the ONLY industrialised nation without universal healthcare?" -- Do you mean SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, i.e., socialism and/or communism (as in Cuba and China)?

Ever wonder why we have the best country in the world? Laughing out loud

The United States had the world's largest GDP, $13.21 trillion (est.) in 2006. (I'm friends with a couple of Frenchmen who now live here and would not think of going back to "Vile" France -- the title of a book with a lot of funny satire that I'm finally getting around to reading. I also know several other "foreigners" who LOVE America and have a friend who has business dealings with several who feel the same way!)

"Notwithstanding the normative monetarist and 'anti-big-government' themes associated with his Republican Party, President George W. Bush and both houses of the Republican-controlled Congress pushed through a massive expansion of the Medicaid entitlement [Newspeak for welfare, "public" assistance, the dole] program by extending coverage to prescription drugs." -- Do you mean more than this?

Do you mean more than the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)?

I'll read some of these links before I answer more!

"Socialized Medicine: The Canadian Experience"

"The Joy Of Socialized Medicine" Video
-- from another member of the "human sewage" club Laughing out loud

Ever wonder why those Canadians come to the U.S. for healthcare? Laughing out loud

"Socialized Medicine in U.S. Is Inevitable!"

Socialized Medicine

Who pays income taxes? "See Who Pays What."

Rudy Giuliani -- Don't get me started! I do need a little sleep!

Here's a video (might be somewhat objectionable) for all "nice guys" -- just be careful about being too nice! Chivalry has its price!

Enjoy Independence Day and thank you for your service! Smiling

Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 9:27pm.

This guy?

Just be ready to be asked/accused of being me disguise, or Enigma, or anyone else I have been accused of being.

If WWII had been covered by the Modern Media: Great Video

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 7:21am.

Who cares who any of you are? Put your picture in the paper if you want to be well known! If that turns you on, then do it right.

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 9:34pm.

Actually I think JeffC insinuated a couple of times that you, enigma, and I were the same. Either that or he was just confused like his old man.

Cheap shot, I know, but I’ll let you keep the high road. I’ll stay down in the muck.


Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 10:17am.

...who hides behind an anonymous moniker (duh).

At least that's what I was called by one local blogger.

Surprisingly, Denise didn't see anything accusatory or personal about the verbal assault and thus the current riff between Denise and me.

I'm afraid I am not able to take the high road since I have basmati, Kevin, and Denise all wondering if I am mentally healthy.

I'll tell you what - you hit 'em high and I'll hit 'em low, or visa versa. Or, I'll spot and you shoot, then you spot and I'll shoot and we'll split the kills.

If WWII had been covered by the Modern Media: Great Video

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 2:56am.

"the kills" -- I see that you're as pleasant as usual lately! Laughing out loud

By "riff" which of the following do you mean?

1. Music: A short rhythmic phrase, especially one that is repeated in improvisation.

2. In comics, a riff is when an artist chooses to create or portray a character in a way commonly associated with another character - these references are perhaps a homage to the skill of other artists.

3. A clever or inventive commentary or remark. Laughing out loud

As far as "the current riff between Denise and me" (correct pronoun, BTW!), the rift (a narrow fissure -- split or crack -- in rock or a break in friendly relations) is one-sided. I merely expressed a differing opinion that agreed with one of another blogger's opinions -- a blogger against whom you have expressed animosity -- animosity that you have now carried over to me. Transference of anger is NOT helpful; neither is holding a grudge (basic mental health, as well as having spiritual implications). You can choose the "high road" any time that you want -- each of us can.

I've not answered your posts out of respect for your loss, but I will, hopefully later this week. I'll be in meetings and must go for now.


Hatred is blind, anger is foolhardy, and he who pours out vengeance risks having to drink a bitter draft. ~ Alexandre Dumas from The Count of Monte-Cristo

Movie Trailers (Rated PG-13 for adventure violence/swordplay and some sensuality [added to entice viewers].) The movie varies greatly from the book, which is more subtle and suspenseful since the plot is developed at a slower pace.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 5:18am.

Mix was afraid to use the narrow split or crack word due to being banded.

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 5:33am.

Laughing out loud

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 5:26pm.

I think Robert Novak ought to spend his time outing democratic CIA covert agents. He is pretty good at it.
If the Hillary health program is going to cost all that you say then there must be a lot of kids who do not have insurance. I suppose you would suggest to just let them be sick and die?
By the way, it is hard to save for retirement and health care when your salary is less than $25,000. There are only so many jobs $60,000 and above you know?

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 5:06pm.

You get CHAMPUS or Tricare, right?

Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 5:39pm.

It's 'government doctors' bas, and Walter Reid not withstanding, it's awful care, takes forever to get an appointment, and I usually don't like the person I am stuck with. It's a great example of why free enterprise is the way to go (IMHO).

I have not used the free health care for Military Retirees in years (TRICARE). In fact, I think it is a terribly inefficient system.

Despite the corner cutting, many do not think it will remain solvent at all. It's just not unusual for a government program to function at a loss now is it. I guess they will just have to spend some more tax money to fix it.

I know I am not the norm but I am also not alone. You may wish to read this:
Click Here Please

And Here:
Injured troops struggle to get health care.

So, are you in favor of a National Health Care program? Is there currently a country whose system you feel we should emulate? If so, what country and why?

(Besides bas, my company pays for my United Health Care and my deductible.)

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 5:30pm.

Of course, most of these republicans on here either get military (tax paid) insurance, Medicare (tax paid) insurance, or near monopoly companies who pay theirs for them, and we pay it in their product costs. Some may have inherited their money or company and it pays their benefits.
But that is all right, everyone should be able to do that, right?

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 4:55pm.

I was someone who smoked for thirty years trying half-heartedly to quit several times. Last August 15th I laid those evil things down and haven't smoked since, so please change your idea of self destuctive behavior to maybe over eating or motorbiking without a helmet, because smoking is something that is very very hard to stop. I was spending enough to pay a small car payment each month, even the cheap smokes are expensive.

I yam...Popeye

Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 5:03pm.

Did you read the article? Dems planned to take the money for this increase in the health care program from the increased taxes on cigarettes but guess what? Smoking revenues are down.

Like you, many are smoking less of stopping due to the high costs so now the revenue (that libs though was bottomless) has bottomed out.

Wow, what a concept - raise taxes and get less money. Gee, can lowering taxes increase revenue? I digress.

Perfect response Hutch. Of course, I would never seriously encourage anyone to smoke. All of that was done tongue in cheek.

If WWII had been covered by the Modern Media: Great Video

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 5:57pm.

I read it, they always go after the smokers first, If everyone quit the government would have to fold. I knew you were kidding about smoking, I finally got too cheap to smoke anymore and I wanted to see my daughter grow up, graduate from college and maybe a grandkid or two. All my friends kids are in or out of college now and mine is just entering high school.

I yam what I yam...Popeye

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 5:36pm.

Cigarette sales are way up worldwide! They saw a small drop here coming and put on an enormous campaign in the rest of the world to hook everyone. It is succeeding.
Same with drugs. I would guess that about half of the prescription drugs sold are unnecessary. Some people take stuff for years longer than they need to do.
Ever see the budget of Drug companies for TV time telling you and me to tell our doctor what we want? No, and you won't. The numbers won't fit on one line of this page.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.