Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Smoking Benefits Children

Not being able to take a child to see a doctor has to be one of the worst feelings for a parent and yesterday dubya vetoed a bill passed by Congress that would have enabled an additional 4 million children to possibly avoid that circumstance. Even though he believes that "childrens can learn", evidently he doesn't care if childrens can't stay healthy. Contrary to what a president would normally do with such an important action, to avoid any coverage dubya hid behind the walls of the White House for this veto of the bipartisan bill. Evidently he is more concerned for the image of the party with the upcoming election than he is for the welfare of the countries less fortunate citizens.

"The State Children's Health Insurance Program is a joint state-federal effort that subsidizes health coverage for 6.6 million people, mostly children, from families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford their own private coverage" according to the AP.
The plan gives the states flexible control over eligibility within limits based on percentages of income above the poverty level (currently $20,650.00 per year for a family of four). Children must be under the age of 19 to be eligible.

The only portion of the bill that I strongly disagree with is how it would be funded with a sin tax increase. Like many health care related measures in the past few decades, this would have been funded by an increase in the federal tax rate on cigarettes from .61 cents to $1.00. Even as an ex-smoker I do not believe that a selected group should bear the burden of federal/state mandated programs.

Iowa increased the state tax on cigarettes by $1.00 earlier this year and smokers in this state would have faced an additional 49 cent tax if this bill had not be vetoed.
A few people may give up the weed and reduce the $$ coming in to support bills like this but most will not. Our health care industry and to a limited extent our government would like to reduce the number of smokers in this country while at the same time they both dwell in the house of profits from tobacco. When will the mixed messages cease?


sybil law said...

Apparently, NEVER. I don't think it'll change with any of the new presidential hopefuls, either. All these a-holes in politics absolutely slay me, and every one of them has their pockets lined by someone. I was just talking about this and other stuff yesterday, but there are other things about this bill (I found it online and read it) that don't make sense.
Sorry to rant. :)

mielikki said...

Interesting post. The topic of medical insurance for everyone is a hot topic for me, we discuss this all the time at work. I don't know what the answer is, really, but I know that we have to do something, especially for the kids, and the elderly who can't afford to either see their MD's, or buy their prescriptions.

CamiKaos said...

I'm glad you posted something on this dad. The entire topic sickens me.

If anyone should have health insurance without fail it is children. I believe that everyone should have it but children are brought into our society and then just kind of eh... whatever.

health insurance? eh.

decent education? eh.

and instead we build more prisons (to contain our children in the future when their lack of care and education has turned them into criminals) and wage more wars (presumably with many of the children that managed to avoid jail as soldiers so that they can afford an education when they get out of their military service).

I'll be honest, I don't care if they use sin tax to pay for health care. Smokes, booze, fine... whatever. it is better than NOT insuring them. But eventually they will ban smoking all together and then where will that leave them.

Maybe someone could look into the spending insanity that is our current health care system and find some money to help out there.

Or maybe we could stop bombing the shit out of people while we act like big brother/ bully/ creepy kid trying to take over the world and find some money there.


I have lost any coherent thread here. I apologize for the long string of babble... but I'm with you, and angry.

Lindy said...

It's shameful isn't it. The US is supposed to be the richest nation in the worl and yet it fails it citizens I'm in the UK now and for all the faults of the NHS at least I can take Squidge to see a doctor any time I want w/out worrying about where I will find the money.