Daily Editorial: No compassion here | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: No compassion here

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

The president who proclaimed himself a “compassionate conservative” all those years ago on the campaign trail has shown himself over and over again to be anything but, with the latest evidence coming in the form of his administration’s objection to continuing certain health care coverage for children.

At issue is the State Childrens Health Insurance Program, known as S-CHIP. Implemented to help cover children whose families aren’t poor enough for Medicaid but still poor enough to be uninsured, the program covers kids with families earning up to twice the federal poverty level, or $41,300 for a family of four.

Some wacky states have adopted or considered proposals to expand the coverage to families making three times the poverty level, or about $62,000. That, the Bush Administration says, is simply way too compassionate. Before you know it, these “wealthy poor” will be opting for S-CHIP instead of impoverishing themselves further by buying private insurance.

And besides, how can we afford such a thing when we have to spend $1 billon per week managing a quagmire in Iraq?

In the old days, “conservative” meant, among other things, that the federal government stayed out of the states’ business. In the case of S-CHIP, the Bush Administration would do well to harken back to that conservative creed and allow states who think they need to insure more kids do so.

No matter how you slice it, cutting millions of kids from insurance programs ” which is what would result from these policy changes ” is nothing short of cruel.

” Alex Miller for the Editorial Board

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