Rebecca Hagelin

The only thing worse than being against baseball, Mom or apple pie is being “anti-kid.”

Liberals, of course know this -- so they frequently resort to the childish tactic of name-calling. Right now, anyone who opposes their massive government expansion of the healthcare program known as SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) is the equivalent of a monster.

As a mother, I know how persuasive it can be to hear someone argue for a certain policy because it’s “for the kids.” And we all know the number of uninsured children out there represents a serious problem. So when a lawmaker such as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says that a vast expansion of SCHIP “helps low-income kids,” well, who can say no? Some cold-hearted ogre?

No, actually. All it takes is someone who’s taken a closer look at what’s being sold here. Let’s put the emotional appeals on hold for a few minutes and look at the facts.

First, some background. SCHIP was enacted a decade ago to help low-income uninsured children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medic­aid but not enough to buy private coverage. The program defines low-income children as those whose family income is at or below 200 per­cent of the federal poverty level (or $40,000 for a fam­ily of four). SCHIP today covers about 6.7 million children.

Why, you may ask, is this issue coming up now? Because SCHIP is set to expire by Sept. 30. Congress must reauthorize it before then -- and congressional liberals sense a perfect opportunity not simply to reauthorize the current program but to move the country closer to their dream of one-size-fits-all, government health care for all. And how can we refuse? It’s “for the kids” -- and poor ones at that.

Or is it? A Heritage report on the SCHIP bill passed by the House of Representatives on Aug. 1 notes that:

“The authors of the House bill repudiate the original intent of the program: SCHIP is no longer limited to low-income persons or to children. … As another attempt to expand welfare dependency, the House bill would allow persons up to age 21 to be recognized as ‘children’ for purposes of the law. Under certain provisions, program funds may be used to cover non-pregnant, childless adults.”

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Rebecca Hagelin's column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.