Wednesday, January 23, 2008

SCHIP no brainer

Republicans are still unwilling to over-ride Bush's veto of SCHIP expansion. Note that it would be, among many other things, an economic stimulus. SCHIP subsidizes insurance for children not poor enough for medicaid but still pretty poor (eligibility differs across states). The argument against SCHIP expansion is that firms which currently pay for coverage of employees children will stop so SCHIP partly crowds out private provision of health care. It would provide insurance to children who don't have it but also amount to a subsidy to some employers of low wage workers out of general tax revenue. This cost is ... a benifit.

Clearly it is a good idea to subsidize employers of low wage people. The increased demand for currently low wage workers will increase their wages at the expense of consumers (good) and reduce their unemployment (excellent also for the Federal budget).

The worst thing about SCHIP is that it subsidizes some employers of low wage workers therefore it is wonderful. Only an ideologue who thinks that any increase in public spendiing is bad can oppose SCHIP expansion. Sad to say, more than one third of Republican Representatives are such ideologues.

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