Saturday, October 13, 2007

One day you'll understand, kids

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, sounded the alarm last month.

Trying to justify his vote against expanding government-funded health insurance to a few million more poor children, Bonner called the plan to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program a "first major step toward socialized medicine." And you know what that means: We could find ourselves with a health care system where the federal government makes lots of decisions that the private sector otherwise would.

Yes, the federal government already directs the dollars for SCHIP. And OK, it calls the shots in Medicare, a health insurance program that covers people over age 65 regardless of financial need and accounts for 12 percent of all federal spending. And of course, Medicaid pays for health care for millions of low-income and disabled Americans. And sure, the government operates an entire nationwide chain of VA hospitals to provide medical care for our veterans. And yeah, Bonner and hundreds of other congressmen voted with great fanfare just four years ago to add an enormous prescription drug subsidy to Medicare.

But an expansion of a pre-existing health insurance program for children? Now that would lead to socialized medicine.

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