Our philosopher King George Bush on Wednesday made it clear that compassionate conservatism has its limits -- like he has hundreds of times before. From the Washington Post:
The president said he objects on philosophical grounds to a bipartisan Senate proposal to boost the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years. Bush has proposed $5 billion in increased funding and has threatened to veto the Senate compromise and a more costly expansion being contemplated in the House.He is apparently ignorant that out of pocket for a good health insurance policy is around $1,000 a month, which is probably half of what many of the parents of these kids earn. And of course he is no doubt unaware that many of these parents are fighting to find any coverage if their kids have pre-existing conditions.
"I support the initial intent of the program," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post after a factory tour and a discussion on health care with small-business owners in Landover. "My concern is that when you expand eligibility . . . you're really beginning to open up an avenue for people to switch from private insurance to the government."
Bush philosophically has other places to spend the $60 billion over five years that the bi-partisan sponsors proposed to cover 6.6 million uninsured kids -- like the five weeks it takes to blow this money in Iraq.
Philosophically Bush hearts HSA's, and that is getting in the way of his endorsement of expanding the SCHIP program. According to the bi-partisan sponsors:
The really tough part is Bush probably doesn't actually know how HSA's work anyhow, he only knows that Karl told him these would be so neato to wipe away the clamor for government backed health care.
They also said that Bush should drop efforts to link the program's renewal to his six-month-old proposal to replace the long-standing tax break for employer-based health insurance with a new tax deduction that would help people pay for insurance, regardless of whether they get it through their jobs or purchase it on their own.
As Bush replied:
And I think it's going to be very important for our allies on Capitol Hill to hear a strong, clear message from me that expansion of government in lieu of making the necessary changes to encourage a consumer-based system is not acceptable.The only problem George, many of these parents whose kids need this coverage hardly have the money to be any kind of consumer in the first place. Any notion that Bush knows what's going on in the lives of these people -- or really even cares -- is the definition of science fiction.