Bush and Sen. Craig, partners against S-CHIP
The majority of the faith community has been both active and unified on the need to reauthorized S-CHIP funding for poor children. But apparently this Word — whatever you do unto the least of these, you do to me — is not the same Word that enters Bush’s ears, especially when Big Tobacco is threatened by a 45 to 61 penny tax.
The Carpetbagger Report distills the central issue of how politics trump principles and good policy again.
At yesterday’s White House press conference, the president kept things unusually brief, answering questions for 30 minutes, during which he avoided practically anything of substance. It prompted Dana Milbank to speculate as to why Bush even gathered reporters in the first place.The answer is pretty simple: Bush called a press conference in order to read a lengthy opening statement about S-CHIP. The White House seems to think the president is going to get slammed on this issue, and this was something of a preemptive strike.
The situation is breathtaking. Bush opposes a bipartisan bill on children’s healthcare because it offers too much help to kids who lack insurance. Republican lawmakers want the bill, Republican governors want the bill, American families want the bill, medical professionals want the bill, and congressional Dems are desperate to pass the bill. Bush has not only vowed to veto, he’s arguing that Congress is “putting health coverage for poor children at risk.”
Even GOP partisans are calling the president on his lies. First, there was Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Hatch, who helped negotiate the compromise, said it is flatly untrue that the bill would cover children in households with incomes of as much as $83,000. A recent Urban Institute analysis found that 70 percent of the children who would gain or retain coverage under the Senate bill, which resembles the compromise, are in households with incomes below twice the poverty level, or $41,300 for a family of four.
“We’re talking about kids who basically don’t have coverage,â€ Hatch said. “I think the president’s had some pretty bad advice on this.â€
It looks like Bush isn’t the only one standing firm to put Big Tobacco ahead of children. Wide-stance Sen. Craig is his domestic (issue) partner on this.