Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, September 22, 2007, 10:30am

A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address

Click here to listen to a replay of the September 22, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall

Notes and Summary of the Broadcast -- SCHIP: State Children's Health Insurance Program

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.
In just eight days, the State Children's Health Insurance Program -- or "SCHIP" -- is set to expire. This important program helps children whose families cannot afford private health insurance, but who do not qualify for Medicaid, to get the coverage they need. I strongly supported SCHIP as a governor, and have strongly supported it as President. My 2008 budget proposed to increase SCHIP funding by $5 billion over five years, a 20 percent increase over current funding.

How the President Differs from the American vision of "Liberty Under God":

  1.  SCHIP is unconstitutional. Funding for the program should be abolished, not increased. The Constitution gives only certain "enumerated powers" to the federal government, and health care is not one of them. Does the Constitution give the federal government authority to tell Americans what kind of computer they can buy? Neither does it give the federal government any power to regulate our healthcare decisions.
  2. There is no "health care crisis." We should fall to our knees in gratitude to God for medical miracles every day. The richest man in the world two generations ago could not have afforded the health care routinely provided to today's middle-class Americans every day. Our health care is the best in the world. It is affordable, and it is effective. It is just another "miracle" provided by the Free Market.
  3. All the problems in "coverage" are caused by government regulations imposed on an otherwise Free Market. When one government regulation causes problems, more regulations are proposed as "solutions," causing even more problems, until the entire industry is brought to bankruptcy under socialism.
  4. Patients should exercise more personal responsibility for their health care decisions. This makes health care better for everyone.
  5. Providers should be free to increase their efficiency and thereby increase their market share. This makes health care better for everyone.
  6. Competitors should be allowed to enter the market without government regulation or licensure to provide better health care at an even lower price. This makes health care better for everyone.
  7. Government regulation and socialist bureaucracy makes health care more expensive, less innovative, less healthy, for everyone.
  8. Kevin Craig for Congress - Platform on Health Care

President's Radio Address Liberty Under God
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.  
In just eight days, the State Children's Health Insurance Program -- or "SCHIP" -- is set to expire. This important program helps children whose families cannot afford private health insurance, but who do not qualify for Medicaid, to get the coverage they need. I strongly supported SCHIP as a governor, and have strongly supported it as President. My 2008 budget proposed to increase SCHIP funding by $5 billion over five years, a 20 percent increase over current funding. Notice that the President "strongly supports" an "increase" in funding for this "important" unconstitutional, socialist program. This is not a dispute between a capitalist President and a Democrat Congress. It is a purely political/partisan dispute over how fast we move to a socialist system, and which party will get the "credit."
Instead of working with my Administration to enact this funding increase for children's health, Democrats in Congress have decided to pass a bill they know will be vetoed. One of their leaders has even said such a veto would be a "political victory." As if this weren't irresponsible enough, Congress is waiting until the SCHIP program is just about to expire before passing a final bill. In other words, Members of Congress are risking health coverage for poor children purely to make a political point. We have a new website which supports the "problem" described here by President Bush. The problem, according to Bush, is partisan gridlock. We believe this is actually the solution. If Bush were a Democrat, the Democrats in Congress would be pushing to approve Bush's proposal, and Republicans would be fighting it. As it is, both Democrats and Republicans are arguing over the amount of the increase in socialism we're going to have. Our new website discusses these political realities:

The proposal congressional leaders are pushing would raise taxes on working Americans and would raise spending by $35 to $50 billion.
Their proposal would result in taking a program meant to help poor children and turning it into one that covers children in some households with incomes of up to $83,000 a year. And their proposal would move millions of children who now have private health insurance into government-run health care. Our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage -- not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage.
The question is not about whether government spending hurts or helps the economy. We believe it hurts the economy, but Bush and the Democrats believe it helps. The only question is, how much spending is politically possible?

Senate Republicans are proposing a program that covers children in homes earning twice the federal poverty level. This is not a program only for the poor, it is a program that is designed to eventually cover everyone. It is Phase One of "HillaryCare."

The President's "free market" rhetoric here is sound, but conflicts with the policy he actually supports. Not the only case in which the President's talk does not match his walk.

My Administration remains committed to working with Congress to pass a responsible SCHIP bill. In the meantime, I called this week for Congress to make sure health insurance for poor children does not lapse. If they fail to do so, more than a million children could lose health coverage. Health coverage for these children should not be held hostage while political ads are being made and new polls are being taken. Congress must pass a clean, temporary extension of the current SCHIP program that I can sign by September 30th, the date the program expires.  
In addition to extending the SCHIP program, Congress needs to focus on passing fundamental spending bills -- especially the annual funding bill for the Department of Defense. Congress must also pass additional funding for our troops fighting the war on terror. We need these bills so we can get our men and women in uniform essential equipment -- like additional armored fighting vehicles that are resistant to mines and ambushes. The federal government is spending billions of dollars a week on the military. We've been hearing about the need for "armored fighting vehicles" for years -- you can probably remember hearing news on the subject back in 2004, and there have been more over the years. Obviously the money taken from us over the years has not gone to the "needy" as promised.
The American people expect their elected leaders in Washington to work together by passing responsible bills in a timely manner. I am confident that with good will on both sides, Democrats and Republicans can do this. We can meet our obligations to help poor children get health coverage. We can meet our responsibilities to the men and women keeping our Nation safe. And we can do our duty to spend the taxpayer's money wisely. The federal government does not have "obligations" to help poor children get health coverage. Bush is violating his oath to "support the constitution." So are the Democrats. So are the Republicans.
Thank you for listening.

White House Healthcare Policy Statement


Additional Resources:

SCHIP: A Step Towards Socialism
"Of course, if the conservative alternative is simply a little less socialism (the counteroffer from Senate Republican leaders is hardly inspiring: bar adults from SCHIP and limit coverage to children in families below 200% of poverty), the march toward HillaryCare will continue."
Union Leader - The SCHIP scam: Socialized medicine for all - Friday, Aug. 3, 2007
     This is how the government takes over a sector of the economy. One small step at a time -- and in the name of "the children." Make no mistake, SCHIP was never intended to provide stop-gap coverage for low-income children. It was always meant to be the vehicle by which Washington could gradually socialize health insurance. Now that Democrats control Congress again, they are moving that plan forward.
     The Senate on Wednesday rejected an amendment he offered to keep SCHIP subsidies aimed at the poor. The House bill would offer subsidized health insurance to families earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. But 89 percent of children in families earning between 300 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level already have private health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
     This SCHIP expansion would not simply insure "children" who are uninsured. It would cause people to drop their existing private-sector health insurance and pick up government coverage. And that is the idea.
Investor's Business Daily - A Canadian Doctor Describes How Socialized Medicine Doesn't Work
More from IBD on Health care, health insurance, pharmaceutical industry and more
SCHIP of Fools
     SCHIP was intended to cover children in families who made too much to be eligible for Medicaid. The law was originally supposed to limit eligibility to families making not more than 200% of the poverty line ($40,300 for a family of four), but seven states set eligibility above 200% anyway. Furthermore, fourteen states have applied loose enough definitions of "child" to extend coverage to parents, pregnant women, or childless adults.
     A recent study by Jonathan Gruber and Kosali Simon suggested that crowd-out for SCHIP ranged between 30%-80%. In other words, for every 10 kids signed up for SCHIP, the number with private insurance drops by 3 to 8.
The Tax Foundation - SCHIP, Cigarette Taxes, and Crime
Here is a question for lawmakers to consider before casting their votes to raise the federal cigarette tax by 61 cents per pack: How can the number of smokers have increased over the last decade while the number of tax-paid cigarettes has fallen sharply?
The answer is that Americans are smoking millions of bootlegged cigarettes.
Conservative Hypocrisy [pdf]
      Imagine Bush talking about responsibility and the importance of not giving people incentives to leave private insurance for the government dole. What does he think his monstrously expensive Medicare drug benefit accomplished? Economists warned of this at the time, but he was more interested in political gain than freedom and responsibility.
      This only scratches the surface. His signature No Child Left Behind Act further shifted responsibility for education away from parents to distant bureaucrats in the central government. That was too much even for some conservatives.
      He has supported virtually the whole constellation of corporate-welfare programs, from farm subsidies to energy-company tax preferences to ethanol privileges to Export-Import Bank favors to “defense” contracts that have nothing to do with real defense. Working people who are told to take responsibility for themselves might justifiably wonder why big corporations and agribusinesses shouldn’t do the same.
      When Bush lectures middle-class and working-class people on self-responsibility, he has no credibility whatever. This is true for most establishment conservatives today. They have violated the freedom-and-responsibility philosophy so often that when they suddenly invoke it for children’s medical care, they look cynical and callous. With friends likes these, the free-market cause hardly needs enemies.
Sinking SCHIP: A First Step toward Stopping the Growth of Government Health Programs - CATO Institute
The average state requires consumers to purchase 38 separate types of coverage. Forty-five states require all consumers, even teetotalers, to purchase coverage for alcoholism treatment. Thirty states require consumers to pay for contraceptive coverage and 13 states require consumers to pay for coverage of in-vitro fertilization -- even though many consumers, such as some Catholics, find those services morally objectionable. Those coverage mandates increase the cost of private health insurance by as much as 15 percent. An estimated 25 percent of the uninsured lack coverage due to the cost of mandatory coverage laws.
The Perils of Parens Patriae, or When the State Becomes Daddy by William Norman Grigg
from Lenin – the State exercises “power without limit, resting directly on force”; from Mussolini – “Everything within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”
Lowering the Cost of Health Care - Rep. Ron Paul
The 20,000% Tax Increase by John M. Ostrowski
Book Review: The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience - Acton Institute PowerBlog
“If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left over for evangelism around the world.”
Shoveling More SCHIP At Us
      As Investor's Business Daily reported, "Last year, almost 700,000 adults were enrolled in this program designed to help insure children of the working poor. Adults with SCHIP coverage outnumber children in three states." And because children are defined as those 21 and under, rather than 18 and over, SCHIP creates situations where even childless adults can be covered
      According to the Congressional Budget Office, about 60 percent of the children who were eligible for SCHIP were covered by private insurance in the year before the program was enacted. Hence, for all practical purposes, the program offers "free" health care to many families, which encourages them to drop out of their private plans.
Sink This Schip Michael F. Cannon, CATO Institute
SCHIP is senseless. Like its much larger sibling, Medicaid, the program forces taxpayers to send their money to Washington so that Congress can send it back to state governments with strings attached. Both programs force taxpayers to subsidize people who don't need help, discourage low-income families from climbing the economic ladder - and make private insurance more expensive for everyone else.

The Democrat Party Radio Address:

Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania on the need for socialized healthcare for children.
"I recorded this message earlier this week and you are hearing it on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in my religion. On this day we are taught we must atone for our sins and remember our obligation to each another. So I can think of no better day to speak to the nation on the urgency of ensuring that every child in this county has health care."

Libertarian Response to Democrats:

  • It is sinful and immoral to take money from Jones under threats of violence to give to Smith.
  • Even if Smith is "poor."
  • It is unconstitutional for the federal government to to this, even if it were moral.
  • Capitalism, not socialism, will ensure the greatest amount of the highest quality health care to every child in this country.
  • If Capitalism fails to provide a certain surgery for one child, that surgical technique would not exist at all for anyone under socialism.

Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall