palin-baby-trig.thumbnail.jpgIn last night’s debate, Sarah Palin took pains to remind the audience that she is a mother who knows how hard it is to raise kids without health insurance. She said she remembered what it was like to sit around the kitchen table with Todd and worry about how they were going to pay out of pocket for health insurance.

Yet, Palin’s inaction on child health insurance as governor of Alaska suggests that she doesn’t remember the bad old days as vividly as she claims. She says she’s a defender of children with special needs, but when she had the opportunity to cover 1200 uninsured children whose working parents made too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to buy health insurance, Palin stood by and let the bill die in committee. 

My latest piece at Reproductive Health RealityCheck describes the politics and ideology behind Palin’s failure of leadership. She ignored a bill that the state could have easily afforded because government health insurance was an affront to her fundamentalist market ideology–even when the recipients are children who can’t buy their own insurance when mom and dad can’t afford it. The SCHIP expansion she allowed to die is also an important source of funding for reproductive health care, including abortions–which might also explain Palin’s passivity. 

Lindsay Beyerstein

Lindsay Beyerstein

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