Friday, October 19, 2007

No, of course children's health has nothing to do with "pro-life." What's wrong with you, anyway?

Via Feministing:

Initially, [the National Right to Life Committee] wouldn't sign on to the legislation because it included coverage for pregnant women, not for fetuses specifically. (As if fetuses exist separately from pregnant women...) But with that provision stripped, NRLC still won't support S-CHIP. Anti-abortion Democrats aren't pleased, and sent a letter to the group telling them so. But the NRLC legislative director explained,

“There’s nothing there [in the SCHIP bill] for us to really grab onto.” know, the bill the House just failed to overturn Bush's veto.

According to the articles feministing cites, which were written before the final vote, some people were speculating that an endorsement by NRLC could've made the difference in sustaining the override. Oh well.

Here's a bit more background on SCHIP, via Wiki, in case you hadn't been following:

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a national program in the United States that provides health insurance for families who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, yet cannot afford to buy private insurance. The program was created to address the growing number of children in the United States without health insurance. At its creation in 1997, SCHIP was the largest expansion of health insurance coverage for children in the United States since Medicaid began in the 1960s. The statutory authority for SCHIP is under title XXI of the Social Security Act. A proposal recently passed in the Congress to expand SCHIP from $5 billion yearly by $35 billion over five years was vetoed by George W. Bush.[1].[2] An attempted House override of the presidential veto on October 18, 2007 failed by a vote of 273 to 156 for a 13 vote shortage of the two-thirds majority needed for override.[3]

SCHIP covered 6.9 million children at some point during Federal fiscal year 2006, and every state has an approved plan.[4] States are given flexibility, and an enhanced match is paid to states. Some states have received Section 1115 demonstration authority to use SCHIP funds to cover the parents of children receiving benefits from both SCHIP and Medicaid, pregnant women, and other adults. However, the program is already facing funding shortfalls in several states.[5]

In 2007, researchers from Brigham Young University and Arizona State found that children who drop out of SCHIP cost states more money because they shift away from routine care to more frequent emergency care situations.[6] The conclusion of the study is that an attempt to cut the costs of a state program could create a false savings because other government organizations pick up the tab for the children who leave SCHIP and later need care. In a 2007 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, researchers determined that "for every 100 children who gain coverage as a result of SCHIP, there is a corresponding reduction in private coverage of between 25 and 50 children." The CBO speculates this is because the state programs offer better benefits and lower cost than the private alternatives.

...Despite SCHIP, the number of uninsured children continues to rise, particularly among families that cannot qualify for SCHIP. An October 2007 study by the Vimo Research Group found that 68.7 percent of newly uninsured children were from families 200 percent above the federal poverty level.

...On October 3, 2007, President Bush vetoed H.R. 976, a bipartisan bill passed by Congress that would have expanded the program by $35 billion.[10] The veto was the fourth of his administration.[2] This proposal would have increased coverage to over 4 million more participants by 2012, and also would have phased out most state expansions in the program that include any adults other than pregnant women...President Bush vetoed the bill because he believed the bill would "federalize health care", expanding the scope of SCHIP much farther than its original intent.

Also, twelve year olds with auto accident injuries and their suspiciously fed and roov'd families might have taken advantage of it, and that would be Wrong.

Two weeks ago, the Democratic response to President Bush’s weekly radio address was delivered by a 12-year-old, Graeme Frost. Graeme, who along with his sister received severe brain injuries in a 2004 car crash and continues to need physical therapy, is a beneficiary of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Mr. Bush has vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have expanded that program to cover millions of children who would otherwise have been uninsured.

...First, some background. The Frosts and their four children are exactly the kind of people S-chip was intended to help: working Americans who can’t afford private health insurance.

The parents have a combined income of about $45,000, and don’t receive health insurance from employers. When they looked into buying insurance on their own before the accident, they found that it would cost $1,200 a month — a prohibitive sum given their income. After the accident, when their children needed expensive care, they couldn’t get insurance at any price.

Fortunately, they received help from Maryland’s S-chip program. The state has relatively restrictive rules for eligibility: children must come from a family with an income under 200 percent of the poverty line. For families with four children that’s $55,220, so the Frosts clearly qualified.

Graeme Frost, then, is exactly the kind of child the program is intended to help. But that didn’t stop the right from mounting an all-out smear campaign against him and his family.

Soon after the radio address, right-wing bloggers began insisting that the Frosts must be affluent because Graeme and his sister attend private schools (they’re on scholarship), because they have a house in a neighborhood where some houses are now expensive (the Frosts bought their house for $55,000 in 1990 when the neighborhood was rundown and considered dangerous) and because Mr. Frost owns a business (it was dissolved in 1999).

You might be tempted to say that bloggers make unfounded accusations all the time. But we’re not talking about some obscure fringe. The charge was led by Michelle Malkin...

You know the rest by now, of course.

I do keep getting derailed with irrelevant shit like health care. Anyway! To get back to the main subject of "pro-life" and the Culture thereof, you'll be pleased to know that in the midst of all this,

Birth Control Foe To Head Family Planning

Bush Pick For Contraceptive Program Called Birth Control Part Of "Culture Of Death"

Family planning advocates denounced President Bush’s appointment of a contraceptive critic to be head of the federal program responsible for providing birth control and other family planning services to the poor.

Dr. Susan Orr**, an associate commissioner at the Department of Health and Human Services, was named by Mr. Bush to be the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (DASPA). She would oversee Title X, the nation's family planning program.

Orr is currently on the board of directors of Teen Choice, a non-profit groups advocating for abstinence in lieu of contraception.

Before joining the Bush administration (where she has served in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at HHS), she was senior director for marriage and family care at the Family Research Council (a religious advocacy group founded by James Dobson of Focus on the Family), and director of the Center for Social Policy at the Reason Public Policy Institute...

Planned Parenthood has a petition
on this, by the by.

**, unfortunately, -not- the baton twirler. Different Susan Orr. This one:

In a 2001 article in The Washington Post, Orr applauded a Bush proposal to stop requiring all health insurance plans for federal employees to cover a broad range of birth control. “We’re quite pleased, because fertility is not a disease,” said Orr, then an official with the Family Research Council.


Lisa Harney said...

Whenever I read about SCHIP, I get angry. Angrier, even. The attitude about nationally subsidized health care in America is just so toxic, I have trouble believing that the reasoning behind it is what people really believe - I think of people who complain bitterly about the possibility of their tax dollars going to someone else's medical care (as opposed to now, with those tax dollars going toward killing people, which is apparently much more ethical). Are these people so lacking in self-awareness that they cannot simply imagine a situation where they might need health care, or where they're denied insurance because they're too high risk?

Bush trying to appoint Susan Orr makes it pretty clear he wants to leave as big a mess as possible for his successor. He has 15 months to further damage America, and it looks like he's going to take every opportunity to do so.

This is an evil political decision. I hate to use that word, but when you assign someone dedicated to destroying the idea of a thing to managing that thing, you're making a deliberate attack. When that attack is upon half your population's bodily autonomy, you're making it clear that you want war.

Vanessa said...

It just makes me pissed that these people can't figure out that health care is so expensive even middle-class people can't afford it. Not just the Dickensiean poor.

belledame222 said...

well, why should they? their ass is covered.

Vanessa said...

Oh, I know. You'd think I'd have suffered outrage overload by now.

But no, it just keeps on coming.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how they can care *sooo* much about fetuses, but care *sooo* little about children.

Why, it's almost as if it's not really about the fetuses at all.