Friday, September 21, 2007

Pelosi Forbids Kids from Having Dental Care, Dance Classes, Soccer Balls, Ponies

It's not usually a good idea to take Nancy Pelosi too seriously; she often makes little sense. But given that she is the Speaker of the House -- and therefore third in line to the presidency -- you can't ignore her entirely.

In responding to the president's stated intention to veto the proposed expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Ms. Pelosi claims that President Bush is saying 'I forbid 10 million children in America to have healthcare.' If this were true, the president would certainly be a monster.

But if Ms. Pelosi's logic is that denying a federal subsidy for something is equal to forbidding people from having it, then she is a monster of inhuman proportions. Does she believe Uncle Sam should buy every American kid a pony (or two)? How about tickets to Wiggles concerts, piano lessons, after-school snacks, and a weekly trip to Dairy Queen? Why does she think America's kids shouldn't have access to these staples of American life? And if the rule applies to kids, it applies to adults. Why is Speaker Pelosi forbidding me to have a plasma television and an in-ground pool?

My argument is as silly as Speaker Pelosi's of course, but when the facts are against you, you try to throw up dust.

The Heritage Foundation reports that the SCHIP expansion proposed in Congress would push more than 1 million kids from private health insurance into federal care -- hardly an improvement. (This number is consistent with CBO's findings for past expansions.) The cost would be borne largely by lower-income smokers (of whom we will need at least 9 million more), and Congress is cooking the books to hide $60 billion of the cost of the program. It could lead to 71 percent of all American kids being covered by government-run health care.

Heritage also offers this video which summarizes the problems with the proposed changes to the program.

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