Monday, August 13, 2007

Pet Insurance for ALL Children!

SCHIP, or the State Children's Health Insurance Program is a state-and-federal program that successfully provides medical insurance to children whose families cannot afford insurance, and who do not qualify for other programs, such as Medicaid. But the program is in trouble. The AMA is worried that the Senate may move to strip the Medicare physician reimbursement increase out of the children's health legislation and dubs the negotiations in both Houses as "contentious." Just before leaving for their August recess, Congress passed a measure that would prevent Medicare physician pay cuts for the next two years; the next day, the Senate passed Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 which did nothing to change physicians Medicare payments. Because the bills are substantially different, when Congress reconvenes in September a committee will attempt to work out a compromise to save SCHIP before it automatically expires Sept. 30th.

But the program remains in serious jeporady. In his infinate lack of wisdom, President Bush threatens to veto ANY legislation he's sent:
"The program is going beyond the initial intent of helping poor children. It's now aimed at encouraging more people to get on government health care. That's what that is. It's a way to encourage people to transfer from the private sector to government health-care plans."
Yeah, THAT's the ticket. Pesky government health-care plans sounds like (gasp) Socialized Medicine.

"(The program) has a solid track record of working to get kids covered and that's important because kids who don't have health care coverage are less likely to see a doctor," said Elaine Arkin, communications director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Vincent DeMarco, of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, an advocacy and lobbying group based in Baltimore, says that SCHIP is, in his opinion, one of the most successful government programs ever.

Barbara Ehrenreich suggests a solution:
Open up pet health insurance to all American children now!
This year, Americans will spend about $9.8 billion on health care for their pets, up from $7.2 billion five years ago. According to the New York Times, New York's leading pet hospitals offer CT scans, MRI's, dialysis units, and even a rehab clinic featuring an underwater treadmill, perhaps for the amphibians in one's household. A professor who consults to pet health facilities on communication issues justified these huge investments in pet health to me by pointing out that pets are, after all, "part of the family."
Well, kids are part of the family, too, and can do almost as many tricks as your dog! And they snuggle as well as your cat. So, why not? Pet insurance is not very expensive, around $33 per month. Of course, Ms. Ehrenreich refers to an article by the NY Times' Bob Herbert from June of this year. In the article, Mr. Herbert wrote about Diamonte Driver, a 12-year old boy who died recently from an abscessed tooth because he had no insurance and his mother could not afford $80 to have the tooth pulled. And he also wrote about 14-year old Devante Johnson, who died when his health insurance ran out in the middle of treatment for kidney cancer. Both these kids could have been treated by a Veterinarian. Instead, their lives were cut short for lack of insurance, for lack of $80.

We can, we must, do better. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you.

cross posted at The Sirens Chronicles


Granny said...

Shame on him.

I read somewhere that the program includes some funding for sex-ed programs other than abstinence (although abstinence is still included).

That wouldn't have anything to do with the proposed veto, would it?

robin andrea said...

We need serious health care reform in this country, starting with the complete dismantling of the medical insurance industry. We won't get it as long as Bush is in office, and I doubt we'll get anything like single payer health care even with Hillary. It's one of the most important domestic issues facing our country.

mirth said...

Shame on Bush is right.
But I disagree that SCHIP will be funded by a tax on cigarette smokers. I think this is shameful too. It's a sneaky way to raise funds during an election cycle without repercussions from voters. SCHIP should be funded by ALL citizens.

Frederick said...

Never heard of a Republican yet that would pass on a chance to screw a child. (insert Mark Foley joke here)

Tina said...

Now now people... just you settle down.
Repukes only care about the kiddies when they are a handful of cells in a petri dish or in utero.
Once they are breathing, thinking, feeling children who needs stuff... like say shelter, a living wage for their caregiver, clothes, food, clean air and water, and medical care... well... that's where the GOP line is drawn and the venom is spewed: "Screw you kid. Sorry for your luck. But me and mine got our's. Who cares if you got ANYTHING? Blame that slut of a mother of your's for opening her legs. Oooooh lookie here... a tax shelter for the rich.... and oooooh.... a giant mega church to make me look Christian.... oooh..."

LET'S TALK said...

It's amazing how this President can give tax cuts and explain to America how it will benefit them, that he takes care of the rich first and what is left from that would go to fight his war and from that, well... He thinks that we must learn to look for help from private sectors to archive any type help.

How can he swear to uphold the laws of this country and continuously break them? How can he speak of being a Christian and act like the anti-Christ with his actions.

DivaJood said...

Granny, OH NO, not sex education programs! That's terrible. Why, how would people be able to protest abortions if kids learned safe sex?

Robin Andrea, in my opinion, it is THE most important domestic issue.

Mirth, SCHIP should be funded by ALL taxpayers, I agree completely. However, our elected officials are sneaky.

Frederick, I about choked at the Mark Foley reference. Screw kids indeed.

Tina, Actually, Bush WANTED to say "That's it. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas." His staff writers thought that was a bad idea, so they came up with "The program is going beyond the initial intent of helping poor children. It's now aimed at encouraging more people to get on government health care. That's what that is. It's a way to encourage people to transfer from the private sector to government health-care plans."

DivaJood said...

How can he speak of being a Christian and act like the anti-Christ with his actions. Let's Talk, it's easy when you really don't even think about what is coming out of your mouth.

WeezieLou said...

maybe this is bcs i'm not a parent, but i believe universal health care is what's crucial, for people of all ages. how much good does it do for a child if his/her mother dies of untreated breast cancer?

DivaJood said...

Weezielou, exactly right. But until this happens, SCHIP has been a highly successful program that is now in crisis!

Coffee Messiah said...

What can we expect from those who have all they can afford without a care????

Bastards! ; (

Larry said...

The wealthiest nation in the world, the nation who can spend a trillion dollars on a war with no end, a nation that claims to be a Christian nation, a nation whose leaders claim to be moral Christian's, refuse to provide healthcare for the nations poorest of children.

Very sickening.

Suzie-Q (S-Q) said...

Yep, we, the people take care of the Bush family (tax dollars) and they crap all over us!

sumo said...

Ha ha...what suzie-q said!

DivaJood said...

Coffee, no kidding. They sit, comfortable in their Ivory Mansions, and ignore the rest of the world.

Larry, we are being led to bankruptcy because of the Iraq war. We, as a nation, are morally bankrupt already.

Suzie-Q, let's fire his ass for incompetency.

Sumo, yep.

Sewmouse said...


I really can't manage to say anything other than that. I cannot believe that OVER 1/4 OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY still support this madman.

DivaJood said...

Sewmouse, and we're going to expand the war into Iran real damn soon too. How's that for a great use of taxes? Not so much, really.