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so i know that bush vetoed a bill that provided health care to low-income kids...why did he do this? Someone will probably correct me, was his reason so health care wouldnt get socialized?

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so i know that bush vetoed a bill that provided health care to low-income kids...why did he do this? Someone will probably correct me, was his reason so health care wouldnt get socialized?

 

Because every once in a while, Bush pretends he's a fiscal conservative and that the federal government isn't responsible for solving all the world's potential problems.

 

Providing federal taxpayer-subsidized health insurance for children whose families earn up to $80,000 / year is just absurd. Unless you truly believe in socialized medicine (in which case you ought to have the decency to support achieving it through a consitutional amendment) or something pretty close to it, you should recognize that it shouldn't be a federal priority.

 

That being said, the Democrats have really managed to score big in the PR battle. Bush is spending about $10 billion / month in Iraq, which the public opposes, but won't spend an extra $2 billion / month on healthcare for "needy" kids.

 

Bush is an idiot. He's a total hypocrite, and the fact that he's completely ignored fiscal discipline for 6+ years makes this a horrible time to stand "on principle."

 

When "fiscal discipline" just means "we'll spend slightly less than the Ds, except on security, defense, and bombing others (then we'll spend much more)," you're up a creek when you apply it to children's healthcare -- even when you're on the right side ideologically and constitutionally.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/02/AR2007100201823.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

 

Return of the Goldwater GOP

 

By Harold Meyerson

Wednesday, October 3, 2007; Page A23

 

Just outside our nation's capital, in affluent Montgomery and Fairfax counties, they still build public schools when the number of school-age children rises above the number that the existing schools can accommodate. Beyond question, there are parents in Fairfax and Montgomery who could easily afford to send their kids to private schools but who send them nonetheless to the excellent public schools in their neighborhoods They thus increase government spending and withhold revenue from the private-school industry, but I've never heard anyone complain about that. A free public education is a right, or, if you prefer, an entitlement in America, because the nation long ago decided that an educated population is a national good.

 

You might think that the same logic would apply to providing children with health care, that the gains to the nation from having a healthy population would outweigh those of bolstering private health insurance companies in the name of laissez-faire ideology. According to President Bush and the hard-right wing of the Republican Party, though, you'd be sadly mistaken. Bush fears that expanding health care for children from uninsured families who can't afford to buy insurance on their own (it costs about $11,000 a year for a family of four) would enable some families, as he put it at a news conference last month, collectively to "move millions of American children who now have private health insurance into government-run health care."

 

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Nine million American children have no health coverage, a figure that rose by three-quarters of a million last year as the number of employers who offer health insurance to employees and their dependents continued to shrink. Congress has placed a bill on the president's desk that would expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover most of those children, but Bush argues that it could benefit some people who would otherwise stick with private insurers. By the same logic, no more public schools should be built in well-off communities. But public education is the American way, while publicly subsidized health care for children is creeping socialism.

 

The unacknowledged ideological secret of American life is that we have any number of somewhat socialized systems that flourish in plain view. The health-care system for veterans, which most analysts consider about the best America has to offer (and no, Walter Reed was not a VA facility), is socialized medicine pure and simple. Medicare is not a socialized system -- it pays for private medical care -- but is a single-payer system. Like education, these aren't parts of the economy that were wrested from the grasp of a covetous private sector. They address needs -- insuring all seniors, covering the costs of veterans, educating all children -- that private companies chose not to meet because these enterprises, however necessary, weren't profitable.

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So it is with health insurance today. We have a massive, competitive private sector that has decided it cannot turn a buck on millions of Americans of modest means or uncertain health. If there were a private-sector solution to the problem of 9 million uninsured American children, the private sector would have found it.

 

But the president and those Republican members of Congress who join him in opposing SCHIP's expansion have a faith in laissez-faire ideology that cannot acknowledge the limits of what capitalism can, or even chooses to, do.

 

We hear a lot from Republicans these days, presidential candidates most especially, that they want to return their party to its roots, to make it once again the party of Ronald Reagan. Problem is, they've overshot Reagan and seem bent on reinventing the GOP as the party of Barry Goldwater.

 

Reagan's conservatism had wind in its sails: The stagflation and drift of the Carter years provided an opening for Reagan's limited rollback of government. What Goldwater personified, however, was the triumph of ideology over experience. He opposed Social Security and Medicare and voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the name of property and states rights. The needs of seniors, the claims of African Americans to equal rights, ran counter to Goldwater's theology of markets over people.

 

Today's Republicans seem determined to re-create that magical Goldwater self-marginalization. Opposing the provision of health care to children because it conflicts with one's faith in an economic future (capitalism insures everyone) that capitalism itself does not really share (or it would insure everyone) is the same kind of theological nuttiness that led to the Goldwater debacle. In the name of attacking socialism, what Republicans are really doing is affronting the empiricism and the pragmatism, not to mention the decency, of the American people. At, one need hardly add, their own risk.

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Bush didn't reject it because it was too expensive, he rejected it because to get the funds the government would have to raise the cigs tax at least $0.65 and the people who live in poverty have a set income and couldn't afford the cigs. Also don't give me the bullshit that someone can just instantly quit smoking...

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I love it, that is exactly what the state of Oregon is apparently doing - with a constitutional amendment. What the heck?

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Bush's Veto Lies

___

 

By Eugene Robinson

Friday, October 5, 2007; Page A21

 

To say that George W. Bush spends money like a drunken sailor is to insult every gin-soaked patron of every dockside dive in every dubious port of call. If Bush gets his way, the cost of his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will soon reach a mind-blowing $600 billion. Despite turning a budget surplus into a huge deficit, the man still hasn't met a tax cut he doesn't like. And when the Republicans were in charge of Congress, Bush might as well have signed their pork-stuffed spending bills with a one-word rubber stamp: "Whatever."

 

So for Bush to get religion on fiscal responsibility at this late date is, well, a joke. And for him to make his stand on a measure that would have provided health insurance to needy children is a punch line that hasn't left many Republicans laughing.

 

Bush's veto Wednesday of a bipartisan bill reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program was infuriatingly bad policy. An estimated 9 million children in this country are not covered by health insurance -- a circumstance that should shock the consciences of every American. Democrats and Republicans worked together to craft an expansion of an existing state-run program that would have provided coverage for about 4 million children who currently don't have it.

 

It was one of those art-of-the-possible compromises designed to advance the ball toward what has become a national goal. Health care is arguably the biggest domestic issue in the presidential contest and, while the candidates and the country may be all over the map in terms of comprehensive solutions, there's a pretty broad consensus that some way has to be found to ensure that children, at least, are covered.

 

Make that an extremely broad consensus: According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week, 72 percent of Americans supported the bill Bush vetoed.

 

The program Congress voted to expand provides health insurance for children who fall into a perilous gap: Their families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but don't make enough to afford health insurance. The cost of covering an additional 4 million children was estimated at around $35 billion over five years. That's a lot of money. But in the context of a $13 trillion economy -- and set against Bush's history of devil-may-care, "buy the house another round" spending -- it's chump change.

 

Bush's stated reasons for vetoing the SCHIP bill left even reliable congressional allies -- such as Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Charles Grassley of Iowa, both of whom supported the legislation -- sputtering in incomprehension. As for me, I don't know what to call the president's rationale but a pack of flat-out lies.

 

The president said Congress was trying to "federalize health care," even though the program in question is run by the states. The president said that "I don't want the federal government making decisions for doctors and customers," even though the vetoed bill authorizes no such decisions -- the program enrolls children in private, I repeat, private, health insurance plans.

 

And here's my favorite: "This program expands coverage, federal coverage, up to families earning $83,000 a year. That doesn't sound poor to me." But the bill he vetoed prohibits states from using the program to aid families who make more than three times the federal poverty limit, or about $60,000 a year for a family of four. Most of the aid would go to families earning substantially less.

 

Bush's spurious $83,000 figure comes from a request by New York state to use the program for some families earning four times the poverty limit. That request was denied by the Bush administration last month -- and that upper limit is not in the bill Bush vetoed. End of story. If New York or any other state were to ask again to be able to raise the income limits, the administration could simply say no.

 

Bush seems to be upset that Congress didn't adopt his pet idea to tackle the health insurance issue through -- guess what? -- tax breaks. None of the major players on Capitol Hill thought this would work. When the White House persisted, Congress moved ahead on its own.

 

Hatch said he believed Bush had been given bad advice by his staff. He didn't take the next step and draw what seems to me the obvious conclusion: Either Bush didn't understand the bill he vetoed or he's just being petulant -- with the health of 4 million children at stake.

 

"I hope the folks at home raise Cain," Hatch said. Oh, I think they will.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/04/AR2007100401921.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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its comical that bush thinks the democrats wont play this to their advantage and that he would win the ultimate opinion poll on the subject.

 

and meanwhile i weep for the children.

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I disagree with the Goldwater jab on three fronts.

 

First, as the article points out, the "wind in its sails" that Reagan conservatism had was precisely the result of conditions at the time. I'd argue there really isn't much of a difference ideologically (though perhaps practically) between Goldwater and Reagan "conservatism," and that Reagan "sold" because of personality and the atmosphere in which he ran. You had a terrible economy, a charismatic spokesman who framed the message well, and an unpopular incumbent president. The article even acknowledges these factors, but then makes the unspoken implication that these two "brands" of conservatism are significantly different. Logical fallacy.

 

Second, the GOP is not trying to remake Goldwater. They claim to be trying to remake Reagan, but even that's window dressing. Being "slightly more fiscally tight-fisted than the Democrats" is not being ideologically aligned with Goldwater-Reagan conservatism. The notion of abolishing entire federal departments hasn't been part of mainstream GOP talk since Dole in '96, and I'd argue that he was significantly toned down from the Goldwater rhetoric. Sure, there are some in the GOP who still have a strong ideology that doesn't just pop up when fighting over stepping stones to socialized medicine. But they're a minority, and they're not in control of the party.

 

Finally, even though the argument falls apart before it reaches the finish line due to its flawed assumptions, I strongly disagree with the core message expressed against a limited federal government. The author is spouting out lefty nonsense from his comparison between public education and healthcare (1. they're not the same, 2. public education -- despite increasing federal meddling -- is largely paid for and run by lower levels of government) to the unsupported assertion that massive SCHIP expansion plugs a gap created due to a free-market failure (wrong on two levels) that is a USFG responsibility to plug (wrong again).

 

This veto, given the president's hypocrisy, is probably going to hurt politically. The sheeple who demand more and more from the government are going to flock to the snake oil salesmen like Hillary who will promise it. They won't bother to consider whether it's truly good policy. More importantly, they won't stop to consider whether it's appropriate.

 

The author did bring up one valid issue, though he's on the wrong side of it. Ideology matters. Without consistent principles we're just an ad hoc society subject to the whims, impulses, and demands of the majority. True leaders stick to these principles. They do what's right even when it's not popular. And they do what's legal even when it conflicts with their vision for shaping an ideal society.

 

Want socialized medicine? I'll have much more respect for you if you aim for it the right way: at the state level or through a constitutional amendment. Otherwise, despite the compassion you attempt to exude, you're a person without principles.

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Well, I suppose I'm one of the few that is gonna stand with George Bush on his veto. First off, George Bush said from the beginning that he would veto the SCHIP bill that was passed, and Nancy Pelosi shamelessly played politics with childrens health insurance. Second, the bill was a poor one. It expanded government health insurance for children to all families with up to $200,000 a year in income. The very same people that are deemed poor in this bill are the same that democrats say need their taxes increased again by "rolling back" Bush's tax cuts. This was nothing more than an attempt at socialized medicine. A more modest increase in SCHIP spending (say from 5 billion to 8 or 9 billion rather than the 40 billion detailed in the bill) would go a lot further toward helping our children without a move toward socialized medicine.

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Well, I suppose I'm one of the few that is gonna stand with George Bush on his veto. First off, George Bush said from the beginning that he would veto the SCHIP bill that was passed, and Nancy Pelosi shamelessly played politics with childrens health insurance. Second, the bill was a poor one. It expanded government health insurance for children to all families with up to $200,000 a year in income. The very same people that are deemed poor in this bill are the same that democrats say need their taxes increased again by "rolling back" Bush's tax cuts. This was nothing more than an attempt at socialized medicine. A more modest increase in SCHIP spending (say from 5 billion to 8 or 9 billion rather than the 40 billion detailed in the bill) would go a lot further toward helping our children without a move toward socialized medicine.
A household can have $200,000 income and qualify for CHIP. I worked for one of the companies that handles the claims a while back. Of course, the $200k household needs to have 12 members or more, if memory serves. And even at that, they pay the highest premiums of all assisted health care products.

 

CHIP simply doesn't insure the wealthy. That's Limbaugh-style propaganda.

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A household can have $200,000 income and qualify for CHIP. I worked for one of the companies that handles the claims a while back. Of course, the $200k household needs to have 12 members or more, if memory serves. And even at that, they pay the highest premiums of all assisted health care products.

 

CHIP simply doesn't insure the wealthy. That's Limbaugh-style propaganda.

 

I thought from what I heard that it was down to a 4 member home at $200,000 under the new policy. If that was incorrect, I apologize. However, I still believe that the veto was the right thing for Bush to do. A more modest increase that Congress knew Bush would pass would have been the correct course of action.

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Want socialized medicine? I'll have much more respect for you if you aim for it the right way: at the state level or through a constitutional amendment. Otherwise, despite the compassion you attempt to exude, you're a person without principles.

 

How is it against the constitution? And specifically, how is SCHIPS going to fall into the same area, considering that it gives money to the state?

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I thought from what I heard that it was down to a 4 member home at $200,000 under the new policy. If that was incorrect, I apologize. However, I still believe that the veto was the right thing for Bush to do. A more modest increase that Congress knew Bush would pass would have been the correct course of action.
I'm not familiar with the new parameters. Personally, I am totally in favor of socialized medicine, so there really isn't a threshhold that seems reasonable to me.

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"Socialized medicine" is one of those terms used to instill fear, I think. The way we pay for health care in the U.S. is a mess. Most people get health insurance from their employer or Medicare. Medicaid provides care for some. Relatively few people have private health insurance. It's expensive and the coverage is typically not that good. There are tax incentives to encourage employers to provide insurance. To me, it doesn't make sense to tie health insurance to employment. It leaves the unemployed out. And people who work for small businesses are at a serious disadvantage.

 

Medicare, Medicaid and large insurance plans are able to strike good deals with health care providers. They pay a fraction of a provider's billed charges. If you look at an explanation of benefits form you can see how steep the discounts are. Health care providers increase their billed charges in order to offset some of the discounts. That means that the people who pay for their own care pay full price, and an inflated price at that. And small businesses, which don't have market leverage pay higher premiums, especially if there is someone in their group that has serious medical conditions.

 

The Federal government, through Medicare, Medicaid, FEHBA, Tri-Care and tax benefits for ERISA plans, distorts the market. It seems to me that the Feds need to get all in or all out. And given their commitments to existing programs, it's going to have to be all in.

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To me, it doesn't make sense to tie health insurance to employment. It leaves the unemployed out. And people who work for small businesses are at a serious disadvantage.

 

Here here. I worked as a bartender for a long time without health insurance because the company was small. I actually went back to teaching (making les money because no tips, and don't get me started on how screwed up it is that I can make more slinging drinks than educating the youth of the country...) at least partly because I would be able to have health insurance. At 26, I didn't care too much. At 33, I'm starting to think it's a pretty good idea to have it.

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How is it against the constitution? And specifically, how is SCHIPS going to fall into the same area, considering that it gives money to the state?
The more relevant question is: how is it constitutional?

 

In the next 20 years we're going to have a financial meltdown in this country. On one hand it's going to be on par with the Great Depression. On the other, increases in science and technology will soften the blow when it comes to how that meltdown effects the average American. The ripples are already out there: the mortgage crisis, a "booming" economy but no real wage growth, creeping devaluation of the currency...

 

...before you (rightly) accuse me of going off on a tangent :) I'll tell you why this is relevant. The true private sector is disappearing. Free markets aren't free anymore. Washington, D.C. is running the economy like never before, and it's doing a terrible job. There's no accountability, fiscal responsibility, or wise long-term planning. It's like having a meth addict as your accountant and giving him power of attorney.

 

The growth of the USFG isn't the direct cause of this impending meltdown, but it's fueling it. We've gotten where we are today because we ask our Congressman to solve every problem imaginable. Interests groups from shady energy lobbyists to well-meaning mothers for the nanny state have obliterated the Constitution the quiet way: they've obliterated Article I and the 10th Amendment.

 

We whine when we think Bush is violating the First, Fourth, Fifth -- well, Bush violates a lot of 'em -- Amendments. But what about the way we've nickel and dimed ourselves our of Article I?

 

Article I [particularly Art. I Section 8 (powers of Congress)] is the foundation of the Constitution. It tells us what the USFG is empowered to do.

 

The question we should ask when considering massive new USFG programs isn't "Is it unconstitutional?" The question has to be "Is it constitutional?" We chartered the USFG to take care of certain essential functions that aren't meant for states, localities, or the free market -- like national defense, diplomacy, trade agreements, and settling interstate disputes.

 

The fact that we've looked to Uncle Sam for everything from abortion regulations to B.A.C. limits to student loans is going to be our undoing. Federal officials are temps. They're going to give people what they want so they can stick around another 2, 4, or 6 years. They're not focused on the long-term financial consequences of their actions.

 

So the question I pose to those who support a dramatic SCHIP increase (or something more substantial) is this: how is your proposal an example of the USFG exercising its enumerated powers and responsibilities?

 

Don't give me "precedent" from judges appointed by politicians and confirmed by still more politicians. Don't give me "well we already do X." And please don't give me, "the status quo isn't working." I'm not disputing that. Just explain to me, using the Constitution and your own analysis, why your proposed federal solution is appropriate.

 

Sorry for the length.

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OH OH...It's not my proposal, but let me play.

 

Let's start with the Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.[1]

 

I'm going to say that "promoting the general Welfare" means taking an active stance in their, you know, staying alive. Since the preamble establishes WHY they wrote a constitution, it stands to reason that the interpretation that allows them to fulfill those needs would be appropriate.

 

Then we cruise on over to Article one section eight clause one. THE FIRST of the enumerated powers of the US Federal Government, under Congress:

to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

 

In case the taxation gives you pause the next clause is the ability to borrow money on the credit of the US.

 

If that isn't a clear enough enumeration, it also gives the power to do whatever else is "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers.

 

In case it gives you trouble that a national health care system could jeapordize the COMMERCE of insurance companies, yep, you guessed it, clause 3 of article one section eight gives Congress the power to regulate commerce between the states.

 

The tenth amendment does give powers to the state and people that aren't already given to the federal government, but that doesn't apply in this case, because it the necessary and proper clause gives congress wide leeway in deciding what those powers are with regards to the enumerated powers, including providing for the general welfare.

 

If Congress decided they wanted to ban health insurance companies, federalize all hospitals, and draft anyone with a medical license, it might be bad policy, but it wouldn't be unconstitutional.

 

You said you didn't want precedent cases, so I won't bore you with them, but they agree with me too.

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