The renewed program is one that extends the successful program to the children of parents who earn up to four times the estimated poverty line. The Republicans hate welfare programs, so even this successful program cannot be allowed to help low middle-class families pay for health care. The Republicans keep quoting that "Up to four times the poverty rate" and then oppose the program even though almost no one who would be eligible has family income about twice the poverty rate. To the Republicans, the extremely unusual (and only when needed) case has become the reason to stop the bill from being renewed for all cases.
From CBS News:
there are all sorts of reasons why a middle-class family looking for health insurance might have a genuine need for government assistance. If you can't get health benefits through your employer — and, in case you hadn't heard, employer-sponsored insurance has been in a pretty steady decline for two decades now — you have to buy it on your own. Yet if you look for non-group coverage, as it's known, you'll quickly find it's a lot more expensive than the group kind, because of higher administrative costs. And if you do buy coverage, you'll likely find it less reliable and convenient. The non-group market is notoriously unstable, with small-time carriers constantly jumping in and out, plus it's famously prone to fraud. And, of course, it's in the non-group market where insurers try hardest — and have the most ability — to avoid enrolling people that pose serious medical risks. Simply put, if you have even a moderate pre-existing condition, chances are good you won't find affordable coverage — if, indeed, you can find coverage at all.So the market does not provide adequate medical insurance in states with a high standard of living, which the Republicans use as their excuse to kill an extremely valuable health insurance program that provides health care to people who cannot otherwise pay for it.
Another reason why some middle class Americans might need assistance getting health insurance becomes apparent when you consider exactly which states are most interested in enrolling these people. Right now, the state with the highest income eligibility for S-CHIP is New Jersey. There, children in families making up to 350 percent of the poverty line can enroll. New York has recently said it would like to make insurance available to even wealthier families — those at up to four times the poverty level. Other states interested in raising levels include California and Connecticut.
Notice a pattern here? These are the states with very high costs of living and very expensive health insurance. It might seem crazy that somebody making $80,000 a year would need help getting health insurance — until you consider that the cost of living in New York is crazy, too.
This in spite of the fact that these same Republicans have no hesitation pass military spending bills to cover the war in Iraq where the burn rate is over $3 billion per week. They pass these spending bills and then fight to prevent fraud, waste and abuse investigations of the military contractors who are getting the windfalls the federal government is throwing their way. The two versions of S-CHIP are expected to cost between $35 billion (Senate version)and $47 billion House version) over 5 years. The Senate version is thus $7 billion per year or slightly over two weeks the Iraqi burn rate. The House version is $9.4 billion per year, which is three weeks worth of the Iraq war burn rate.
The Republicans are proving that they value war very highly, and don't value American children at all. This is probably because too many of the children who get this insurance are African-American - the same reason why the top four Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination were too busy fund-raising to appear at the minority-oriented debate held at Morgan State University in Baltimore on September 27th. The only positive thing about the failures of the Republican Party is its open admission that it is an all-White Racist boys club.
This is what Bush meant when he announced "Compassionate Conservatism" back in 2000. How could they possibly be so much on the wrong side with their opposition to S-CHIP?