Monday, July 30, 2007

Bush's Immoral Philosophy

Paul Krugman has an op-ed in the New York Times today about Bush's threat to veto expanding SCHIP.

Krugman writes...

So what kind of philosophy says that it’s O.K. to subsidize insurance companies, but not to provide health care to children?

Well, here’s what Mr. Bush said after explaining that emergency rooms provide all the health care you need: “They’re going to increase the number of folks eligible through Schip; some want to lower the age for Medicare. And then all of a sudden, you begin to see a - I wouldn’t call it a plot, just a strategy - to get more people to be a part of a federalization of health care.”

Now, why should Mr. Bush fear that insuring uninsured children would lead to a further “federalization” of health care, even though nothing like that is actually in either the Senate plan or the House plan? It’s not because he thinks the plans wouldn’t work. It’s because he’s afraid that they would. That is, he fears that voters, having seen how the government can help children, would ask why it can’t do the same for adults.

And there you have the core of Mr. Bush’s philosophy. He wants the public to believe that government is always the problem, never the solution. But it’s hard to convince people that government is always bad when they see it doing good things. So his philosophy says that the government must be prevented from solving problems, even if it can. In fact, the more good a proposed government program would do, the more fiercely it must be opposed.

Krugman goes on to say...
There are arguments you can make against programs, like Social Security, that provide a safety net for adults. I can respect those arguments, even though I disagree. But denying basic health care to children whose parents lack the means to pay for it, simply because you’re afraid that success in insuring children might put big government in a good light, is just morally wrong.
I asked a Republican who works in a health profession about expanding SCHIP. She rolled off typical talking points highlighting the need for tort reform, Doctors and hospitals being squeezed, and more government not being the answer. These arguments might all be valid when discussing how to solve our health care crisis. However, in the meantime we have millions of children that lack health care coverage and it is morally wrong to deny them care.

It is one thing to tell an adult that they are on their own. Now Republicans are trying to tell the same message to children. Republicans spout off the line about people needing to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. However, many of these children come from families that can't afford boots. It is just a matter of time until Republicans start telling children to pull themselves up by their flip flops.

4 comments:

Truth Hunter said...

Very well said. With every action the Bush White House leaves no doubt that corporations rule.

As they become more and more blatant, I worry what "surprises" they have in store for us to keep them in power.....

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Ben said...

"...denying basic health care to children whose parents lack the means to pay for it, simply because you’re afraid that success in insuring children might put big government in a good light, is just morally wrong."

Though I agree that SCHIPS should be expanded, this isn't what President Bush said, and I'm pretty sure it's not what he meant. It's not that the conservatives are "afraid the public will see the truth, that government can work for them", but rather the core ideological "truth" that small government is ALWAYS better. The two sides of the issue are talking past each other because they have completly different conceptions of reality.

Ben said...

Just wanted to say that I know I messed up SCHIP. Sorry for the typo.

Claire said...

Krugman got it exactly right. Helping people simply to help them , without any rich guy payoff would be wrong, just wrong!