Bravo for Congressman Bartlett
My congressman, Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6), cast a courageous and righteous vote yesterday against the reauthorization of the SCHIP bill. He did it not because, like the rest of we Republicans and conservatives, he gets a peculiar joy out of watching poor kids die one the sidewalk as he speeds by in his limousine but because the bill is an exceedingly bad bill that damages a moderately successful program, a Republican written bill passed by a Republican Congress, I hasten to add.
The bill contains some rather perverse incentives. It allows SCHIP to be offered to higher income families before program targets are met for serving those children from the lowest income families. Oddly enough, the authors of the bill, through this provision, are tacitly encouraging companies to do what they routinely lambaste Wal-Mart for doing: laying off medical coverage onto government insurance programs rather than offering insurance coverage themselves.
The bill also virtually guarantees that illegal aliens will be allowed to enroll in the program.
If this bill is not substantially rewritten in conference it deserves to be vetoed by the president and sent back to the drawing board.