The Washington Post has run a story today on the President’s refusal to compromise with Democrats “on legislation to renew a popular program that provides health coverage to poor children” and the blogosophere is going wild with it, particularly on the left hand side, where the demagoguery and foaming at the mouth is particularly strong, even for them. From the story:
President Bush yesterday rejected entreaties by his Republican allies that he compromise with Democrats on legislation to renew a popular program that provides health coverage to poor children, saying that expanding the program would enlarge the role of the federal government at the expense of private insurance.
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.
“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.”
The 10-year-old program, which is set to expire on Sept. 30, costs the federal government $5 billion a year and helps provide health coverage to 6.6 million low-income children whose families do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance on their own.
McQ at QandO has essentially debunked the underlying theme of both the WaPo story – and the ‘outraged’ lefties commenting on it – here, by noting precisely why Bush isn’t budging on the issue. It’s a lengthy post, but the gist of it is here:
But he’s not fighting “expanding funding”, he’s fighting expanding eligibility.
One-sided stories like this one, and the predictable reactions from the usual suspects, are one of the reasons fact-checking blogs (primarly those on the right) are such wonderful things, aren’t they? Because they do the work the mediots are supposed to do, but don’t.
Now, I’m betting this story will be one of the lead stories on all the major nets tonight, Keith Olbermann will doing his usual anti-Bush rant about it, and the myth about Bush’s position will remain that he’s doing it because he doesn’t want to help kids. It’s exactly these types of stories that provided the foundation for my becoming a liberal way back when, before I went through my conversion to a conservative and started keeping a closer eye on the press. You simply cannot trust them – nor their Democrat pals in Congress – to be honest about talking about any issue, especially the hot button issues that affect the weak, poor, sick, and defenseless.