The biggest reason to oppose the expansion of SCHIP

I’ve blogged before about the administration’s opposition to the growth of SCHIP on the grounds that it would expand eligibility to people who really shouldn’t be eligible (not to mention expand the size and scope of the federal government). Those are sound reasons to oppose the expansion of SCHIP, but there’s another argument against expanding SCHIP that tops them all: It would lead the way to socialized healthcare here in the US, something Democrat hopefuls for president Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, among others, have essentially called for (although they strongly reject the term “socialized healthcare” because they don’t like that it calls their plans for what they are).

Martin Kady II at The Politico reports on a 1993 internal White House staff memo which laid out how Hillary Clinton’s staff viewed Hillarycare – as a precursor to socialized healthcare:

In the battle of sound bites over President Bush’s expected veto of the children’s health insurance bill, the White House position boils down to this: Beware, beware — it’s the first step toward federalized health care.

Nonsense, say supporters from both sides of the aisle , who swear they would never vote for a bill that was the proverbial camel’s nose under a tent on government-run health care.

But a look back at the fine print of the 1993 “Hillarycare” debacle shows there may be a grain of truth in the Republican suspicions — and also demonstrates that the GOP believes there is still significant political power to be mined from one of the Clinton administration’s greatest political and tactical failures.

Back in 1993, according to an internal White House staff memo, then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s staff saw federal coverage of children as a “precursor” to universal coverage.

In a section of the memo titled “Kids First” Clinton’s staff laid out backup plans in the event the universal coverage idea failed.

And one of the key options was creating a state-run health plan for children who didn’t qualify for Medicaid but were uninsured.

That idea sounds a lot like the current State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was eventually created by the Republican Congress in 1997.

“Under this approach, health care reform is phased in by population, beginning with children” the memo says. “Kids First is really a precursor to the new system. It is intended to be freestanding and administratively simple, with states given broad flexibility in its design so that it can be easily folded into existing/future program structures.”

The Hillary camp is, of course, denying that that is what they are seeking now, but then again, Democrats rarely will look you in the eye and tell you their true intentions – one of which is to have more and more people dependent on the federal government, while the other is to protect their seats in Congress.

In related news, McQ once again does a fine job of debunking the myth “debunkers” on SCHIP.

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