In response to the call for a letter-writing campaign by John Watson in last week’s BCN, I respectfully submit that a bit of homework is in order. The letter was long on persuasion, but short on facts. No one, not even President Bush, contends that SCHIP should be scrapped, leaving disadvantaged children without medical care. The President asked for a 5 billion dollar increase in SCHIP funding, but Congress passed a bill calling for a 35 billion dollar increase. The President has indicated he will veto the bill because it is too expensive.
I am guilty of being a part of the baby boomer wave that will, absent a courageous Congress, break the US bank with Social Security and Medicare demands that cannot be met with current funding. With an undeniable economic crisis looming, any new appropriation should be scrutinized thoroughly. Even so, there is no debate over increasing SCHIP funding, but how far SCHIP should go is indeed a valid question. According to George Will and Mike Leavitt, secretary of Health and Human Services, (Newsweek, Sept. 8), the bill sent up for the President’s signature adds 2.8 million children to the entitlement roles, many of whom are members of households with income as high as $83,000.
Thoughtful persons may differ on whether taxpayers should subsidize medical care for children of a family making $83,000, but a letter to a Congressman should be informed by facts rather than mere righteous indignation.
David Allen Hall