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A Study In Contrasts

legoambulance.jpgFrom Gov. Kathleen Sebelius writing at HuffPo:

…it is mystifying that the President and his few congressional allies are saying that government involvement in health care is a step toward dangerous, socialized medicine.

I know my children were the beneficiaries of a government-run insurance program until they became adults. Members of Congress and their children are eligible for health care that’s under the government’s umbrella. The President and his are family as well. If it’s good enough for congressional kids and the President’s kids, it should be good for the low-income children who are desperate for health care coverage….

The House and Senate acted with tremendous bipartisanship to reauthorize SCHIP. If they overturn the President’s veto, more than 10 million children and families in need would be able to afford health insurance.

SCHIP is an indisputable success. It enjoys broad bipartisan support. But, still, President Bush has stubbornly vetoed the program in an attempt to deny health care for uninsured children from low-income families.

This partnership — SCHIP — between the states and the federal government has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise troubled health care system. SCHIP has made it possible for millions of children to see a doctor, receive preventative care, and live healthier lives.

Those children are better-prepared to learn as students when they enter a classroom. They are better prepared to succeed as adults when they enter the workforce. In other words: Better health care for more children today means a stronger, more productive America in the years to come….

Contrast that with the “it’s all about what’s in it for me” attitude in the GOP:

…Some Republicans believe the White House is too consumed with the Iraq war and its legislative agenda to pay enough attention to the battle for the presidency.

“The White House political machine is very different without Karl [Rove],” a prominent GOP powerbroker said. “They’re somewhat disconnected from the campaign for the first time I can remember.”

Quite a difference, isn’t it? Think there is no reason for folks in the GOP to fear upholding the Bush SCHIP veto? Think again:

…Others side with Democrats. At the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 70-year-old Donna Stenton says $35 billion over five years pales compared with the costs of the Iraq war. “I have a feeling that a lot of Republicans better watch out,” she says.

The most passionate appeals come from those with a personal stake. Lisa Matzenbach of Troy, a single mother earning about $20,000 a year, uses SCHIP to pay medical bills for her 16-year-old daughter, who has a rare neurological disorder. Matzenbach was recruited by Democrats to record automated phone calls.

She believes in the policy, not the politics: “I think they’re using it as a big campaign issue, and it’s health care for a lot of kids dangling.”

At the end of the day, it is a lot of kids left dangling. And all those adults you hear the wingnut brigades howling about being covered by SCHIP?  They are pregnant women getting prenatal care for their babies.  It’s called preventative medicine — something that every member of Congress gets at taxpayer cost. The children of America’s working families deserve care and concern because they are America’s future, too. It is time that the GOP started thinking more about these kids and less about themselves.

Please make those calls on SCHIP today. These kids are depending on all of us. Let’s get to work…

PS — In case you’ve missed it, we’ve flipped two Bush Dogs. Three to go — you can help us keep the momentum going by donating to Blue America PAC. Thanks to everyone for all the hard work and support on this.

(Photo via Sean Dreilinger.  Grea lego ambulance.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com