Fulfilling The Promise Of The Kerry '04 Campaign
The House is going to take up SCHIP again this week. Providing health care to all children is a noble goal, and I trust it will be enacted, but given how much further the plans and goals for universal health care went throughout the general election campaign, it's hard to work up much enthusiasm for it. John Kerry ran on covering all children and catastrophic health services, so in essence this bill catches up to him. Nevertheless, it ought to pass, because at $5 billion dollars, it's a very cost-effective way to expand health care coverage. Children are relatively cheap to cover, and a healthy childhood can lead to a healthy life. Christy Hardin Smith knocks down the objections:
Look for the usual screeching from "scary immigrant" wingnut corners. Fiscal responsibility may be the underpinning, but fiscal conservatism doesn't exactly tug at wingnutty heartstrings these days, or beat the shouting tom toms like scary brown people obviously do. Sad.
From a public health perspective, though, immunization for children entering the country seems logical to me: prevention of the spread of potentially virulent and communicable diseases brought into the country is just plain common sense. How about you?
SCHIP provides a safety net of health care for the most vulnerable in our society. Given the current economic climate, more and more families are going to fall into the cracks -- meaning children who could use health care now to correct a problem which may just get worse over time could use a hand.
Expanding the social safety net at this troubled time is a no-brainer. I look forward to passage of the SCHIP expansion, incremental though the progress may be.