Friday, October 5, 2007


There's a lot of traffic in the political blogs and news this week about S-CHIP being vetoed. I'll go ahead and say I'm glad it got vetoed, but not for the reasons most Bush supporters are.

One of the main arguments you hear for why the program got vetoed is that it supports people who aren't children, and people who are easily making enough to pay for healthcare. One of the figures Bush has produced is extremely misleading (almost lying) in that it's a maximum income that was requested by New York state, but turned down by the program administrators.

That brings me to my reason for not liking it. The Constitution reserves powers not explicitly granted to the Federal government to the states. To get around this congress is taxing individuals and then giving the money back to the states in a "partnership" where they take money from citizens of the state and then give it back, as long as the state agrees to certain conditions.

If New York wants to fund healthcare for people making $83,000 per year, they should do that. Figure out how to tax the people of New York to pay for it. If Georgia or Massachusetts thinks people eligible should pay for their own health care unless they're at the poverty line, then they can give their citizens the tax benefit that goes with such a minimal plan. Then we can see the results of 50 different programs and stop this useless arguing about what effects of such and such a program might be.

My problem with S-CHIP (and most other Federal programs) isn't that it's wasteful, it's that if each state chose to do it their own way we might learn something about what works and what doesn't. I'm pretty sure that's what Publius had in mind, too.

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