Thursday, October 4, 2007

SCHIP: A solution

President Bush's veto of the SCHIP expansion has Democrats complaining that he and other conservatives simply don't care about poor children. Republicans reply that the expansion costs too much money. I think I have the ideal compromise:

As I understand it, the vetoed proposal would expand, among other things, the age limit to include children up to 25 years of age. Leaving aside the question of whether a 25-year-old can reasonably be considered a child, I actually think the age expansion doesn't go far enough. Expand the age criteria just another 9 months - in the opposite direction - and the bill would probably garner plenty of Republican support. Heck, President Bush might even sign such an expansion. Such a nine-month expansion would not only save millions of children's lives every year, it would actually reduce the overall price tag, since federal policy now allocates a sizable chunk of tax dollars for the express purpose of removing health benefits for these very young children.

The reduction in expense might persuade some hard-hearted Republicans to go along with the new plan. And the compassionate Democrats, desiring above all to save children's lives, should also eagerly embrace the additional expansion. It's a win-win scenario!

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