‘Sicko,’ Health Care and SCHIP

John Allen Paulos in his Who’s Counting column at ABC News:

Screenhunter_09_aug_09_1054Of course, there’s an army of ideologues and lobbyists who will depict the push for universal coverage as a nefarious effort to undermine the free enterprise system. Witness President Bush’s recent rejection of pleas from even a majority of fellow Republicans to compromise with Democrats on renewing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that gives health coverage to millions of children whose parents don’t qualify for Medicaid, yet can’t afford private insurance.

This popular decade-old program, which would cost between $7 billion and $10 billion more dollars per year to retain (financed by increases in tobacco taxes), will expire at the end of September if it’s not renewed. True to the politics of nope, Bush has threatened to veto it if it passes Congress.

The incongruities are almost too painful to note. Spending $1 trillion ($1,000 billion) on the utter debacle that is Iraq has not made us safer from international terror. Spending a few billion dollars on a children’s insurance program that has worked will make us safer from the domestic terror of facing life-threatening illnesses without medical care.

More here.