[Thanks to Gloria Andersen for pointing out the votes.]
Paul Krugman summarizes the legislation, which involves expanding health care to financially qualified children through increased tobacco taxes and reductions in private insurance subsidies to Medicare. The bill does not cut any funds to the lower cost, more efficient, traditional government Medicare plan that the vast majority of seniors use.
President George W. Bush didn’t win many hearts or minds when he said that parents can just bring uninsured, sick kids to emergency rooms for care – but he apparently swayed Congressmen Judy Biggert, Mark Kirk and Peter Roskam. Shame on him and them. Sick American kids shouldn’t be punished just because they weren’t born in any other industrialized nation in the world that would provide them with health care. America used to be called “the land of opportunity” – with this vote Biggert, Kirk and Roskam say they no longer believe in real opportunity for America’s children – only opportunity for kids on an “emergency” basis.