People like CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) because they like the idea of children having health insurance. I love that idea too, and it’s very hard for Randian dead-enders to morally argue against.
That’s exactly why the original CHIP bill passed back in 1992, long before we had a (fleeting) national consensus in favor of universal health care. In 1992, Republicans could still convince enough ignorant white people that comprehensive universal health care was an unseemly handout for blah people, but they couldn’t win a moral argument against insuring kids, which was why Allyson Schwartz was so politically smart for creating this program.
Fast-forward to 2014 though, and we don’t need a special CHIP anymore. We have a universal insurance system called the Affordable Care Act. And the ACA covers not only poor people but also many lower middle class people with Medicaid – a public insurance program that the Government Accountability Office says provides no worse of access to care than private insurance, on balance. And not only that, it does it for cheaper, without handing over extra money to private insurance companies or health care providers.
Contrast that with CHIP, which is a subsidy program for private insurance that greases the palms of insurers and hospital shareholders along the way to paying for kids’ medical procedures. It’s basically what CorbettCare wants to do instead of the real public Medicaid expansion, and the parts you don’t like about the Affordable Care Act.
So why is Allyson Schwartz the only Democrat on this bill House Republicans and Tom Corbett are pushing to keep the CHIP program around?
Don’t be confused: kids are going to get just as good of health care in Medicaid. The only people who are worse off by moving CHIP beneficiaries into Medicaid are insurance companies and hospitals. This is a perfect example of why I don’t personally trust Allyson Schwartz on health care issues, and don’t want her to be in charge of implementing the ACA at the state level. In the little areas where nobody’s looking, is where she’ll sell out progressives.