Hillary Care: It's What She Does, Not What She Says
You have to hand it to Hillary; her health care proposal is a hum-dinger, and WaPo is ready to tell us all about it:
In a speech in Des Moines, the Democratic front-runner said she would expand insurance to the 47 million people who do not already have coverage and would attempt to reduce costs for others without spawning a massive new bureaucracy. In a far different political environment than the one that turned her efforts to establish universal health care into a fiasco in her husband's first term, Clinton offered a more modest approach than she took as first lady and head of a White House task force in 1993.So this should be a piece of cake, not a repeat of the Death Walk Down Pennsylvania Ave. Hil endured the last time she gave national health care a big hug. And since she's the candidate to beat, we should all be happy.
"Today's plan is simple yet doable," Clinton said. ". . . This is not government-run. There will be no new bureaucracy." ...
She added that "there is a much broader consensus on the need for reform now," as health-care costs have outstripped inflation and the growth of income in the past 15 years. "You see businesses and labor together on this, Republican and Democratic governors, and the fact that we are in a global market, where our health-care costs are a competitive disadvantage -- all of that is different."
But wait a minute. Stuck a few pages back from the big page 1 splash on Hillarycare II: Not A Disaster we find another story about a health care program near and dear to Hil's heart:
The SCHIP program, as I've written about previously, started innocuously enough as a modest program to provide funding for health care for children in poverty. Cunningly created with incentives for state's to grow the program, it has expanded like an ebola outbreak, as states both pushed the age of recipients and the household income allowed so it no longer was a program for poor children.
Key lawmakers in the House and Senate negotiated into the night yesterday on a deal that would expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over the next five years.
That would set up a clash with President Bush, who has promised to veto such a plan.
The emerging compromise would bring total enrollment to 10 million children. Congressional aides said it would be funded by an increase in the federal excise tax on cigarettes, which is now at 39 cents a pack. [And, by the way, repeal of Bush's tax cuts for people earning over $250K a year.] It would also attempt to blunt rules the Bush administration imposed last month that restrict the eligibility of middle-income children.
Now, Congress is pushing to expand it even more, so middle class families can opt out of privately run health care program and go for taxpayer-subsidized public sector programs. Could anything be more Big-D Democratic?
SCHIP is more than just Hillary's approach, it's Hillary's plan, as her Web site makes clear:
Nobody has worked harder or longer to improve health care than Hillary Clinton. From her time in Arkansas when she improved rural health care to her successful effort to create the SCHIP Children's Health Insurance program which now covers six million children, Hillary has the strength and experience to ensure that every man, woman and child in America has quality, affordable health care.SCHIP started at $25 billion; now the Dems -- led by Hillary who is, you know, the
Hillary's smaller, smarter national health care program would start not at $25 billion like SCHIP, but at $110 billion. A year. But not for many years. Expect the Dems to "schip" it up right away, to $150 billion, $200 billion, up and up until it's finally big enough for Hil to call her own.