20 August 2007

health care/class warfare/RAGE

it's been hard, lately, to find something sufficiently callous, boneheaded, thrilling or chilling to blog. the democrats are wonking and stumbling their way through the endless primary race; the republican presidential candidates are comically inept; there is a seemingly endless amount of shit for lobbing at the fan in iraq.

and then one seemingly calm monday afternoon, i take a gander at the times and there's this news. perhaps i shouldn't be shocked that the bush administration would do something quite so transparently awful, but i am: they are trying to deny expansion of CHIPs to "middle income" families.

note: "middle income" is equal to more than 250% of the poverty line for a family of four, i.e., about $50,000 for a family of four. feel free to do the math yourself, but trust me: not many people who aren't already covered at work can afford to insure their kids privately at that income level.

where states want to expand subsidized health care for kids to those who are a little better off than absolutely destitute, this administration has invented a novel way to block their paths. moreover, bush et al. explicitly state that this is because they don't want CHIPs to substitute for private health insurance. because, and let's be perfectly clear here, it's more important that insurance companies continue to make large profits than that children in this country don't die of abscessed teeth or asthma attacks.

but wait! it gets better. in new jersey, which has for five years boasted one of the nation's highest CHIP thresholds (350% of the poverty line), there has been "no evidence" of a decline in private coverage. none. translation: it's not even about the profits! we just don't want the kids to be covered! excuse me, but: jesus fucking christ.

speaking of whom: your homework is to reflect for just a minute on the hardness of heart required for ostensible christians in positions of power to sign off on something like this, let alone come up with it. know what a common litmus test for employment in the bush administration is? yeah: you have to be "pro-life" (where pro-life is apparently interpreted with sickening narrowness).

more homework: read the edwards health care platform.