Support health care for kids

I don’t have a lot of energy to post tonight, but I wanted to be sure to share Families USA’s website on how to contact your representatives to urge them to support the bipartisan SCHIP reauthorization against Bush’s veto threat.

Or call tollfree: 1-866-544-7573 — thanks to SEIU.

Some quick points:

  • In a country as rich as this one, no one should have to choose between taking their kid to the doctor and having enough to eat, or having the heat turned off.
  • Kids with insurance are more likely to get preventative care, more likely to be seen when sick before something minor becomes something big.
  • Families with insurance are more likely to get to make doctor’s appointments, rather than have to wait to be seen in a clinic or ER.  That means their parents don’t lose as much pay.
  • Covering children is actually remarkably cheap as good public policies go, on the order of $2,000 per child per year.
  • In the states that are covering higher income families, they’re requiring families to put up copays and premiums.  It’s not a free ride.
  • As far as I can tell, the Bush Adminstration’s main complaint about SCHIP is that it works, and that other people might start asking why they can’t buy into public health insurance pools.
  • On the radio this evening, Dennis Smith was claiming that the problem with expanding SCHIP is that it would create adverse selection against private insurance programs, by making the insured pool older and sicker.   Funny, the Administration doesn’t seem to worry about adverse selection when it comes to their proposed tax subsidy solution to uninsurance.
  • When the Administration starts talking about crowd-out, they never talk about the quality of the private health insurance plans that people are abandoning.  In many cases, they’re insurance in name only, with overly high deductibles — or worse, ridiculously low annual limits.  In some cases that’s because the employers are being stingy, but just as often, it’s because they’re desperately trying to find a way to keep offering health insurance in the face of constantly rising prices.
  • In a country as rich as this one, no one should have to choose between
    taking their kid to the doctor and having enough to eat, or having the
    heat turned off.  Yeah, I know I said it before, but it’s worth repeating.

Update: go read Cecily’s post on health insurance

3 Responses to “Support health care for kids”

  1. Jody Says:

    Done.
    A procedural question for you, Elizabeth. I used to avoid on-line petitions, telling myself that a mailed letter would have a stronger effect. Then I would never get around to mailing the petitions. So now I try to do these on-line petitions as soon as I hear about them. My one concession to impact is always to change the language in the form box.
    Do you have a sense that Senators and Reps are paying more attention to these petitions? Or is there a pretty steep discount, still, for web-submitted mail? I just wonder how bad I should feel about never writing the “real letter.”

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    I don’t think there’s a huge web “discount.” I do think there is, and has always been, a discount for form letters (even modified) and letters that are obviously in response to a campaign. But I also think that it’s pretty unusual for Congresspeople to be undecided at this stage in a big name bill. I think letters can make a lot more of a difference early on, in getting people to focus on an issue. Even if a Congressperson doesn’t cosponsor a bill, if you force them to respond to a letter that they don’t have a pre-prepared response to, some LA or LC will have to do some research on the topic.

  3. landismom Says:

    Done. This is surpassing the war in Iraq as ‘thing I’m maddest at the Bush Administration about.’

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