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« Is There Humor In Islam? | WILLisms.com | Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 114 »

The Biggest Moment In Health Care In Four Decades.

From a MoveOn.org email in the WILLisms.com mailbox:

In the wake of Sicko's box office success, Congress is debating the largest expansion of guaranteed health care coverage in over 40 years. This is our chance to make progress on health care.

Democratic leaders want to offer free health care to millions of uninsured children. Who could be against that? But President Bush is afraid insuring kids is a slippery slope—opening the door to affordable health care for everyone. How terrible.

MoveOn.org is wrong about just about everything, always, but they "get" this. This is not some obscure acronym. This is not just some symbolic piece of pork barrel spending. This is the most momentous health care entitlement expansion in decades, just as we approach an existing health care entitlement spending tsunami.

What this SCHIP expansion would really mean is a major step toward socialized health care.

It IS a slippery slope. In the mid-1980s, ~17% of American kids were covered by government health care. Today, it's roughly half. If Democrats get their way on this expansion, nearly three-quarters of American kids today would be subject to this state-run health care plan.

We're no longer talking about poor kids exclusively, here. We're looking at expanding socialist health care to kids who are solidly middle class. Some families making 83 grand a year will have their kids in this system. Once you extend something like that to such a wide swath of people, there is no pulling back.

Meanwhile, knowing that this plan will require tens of billions of dollars in new revenue, members of Congress are contemplating some fairly substantial tobacco-related legislation:

To pay for an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a Finance Committee draft bill would increase cigarette taxes to $1 per pack, raising an estimated $35.7 billion in new revenue.

Not to mention a proposed $10 per cigar tax.

On the one hand, the government wants us to stop smoking. Who could be against that, anyway? Smoking is terrible.

On the other hand, the Democrats are depending on 22 million new smokers to pay for this SCHIP expansion.

So, the taxes and other new regulations might discourage smoking. Great. But an entire new program depends on smoking. Not so great. Meanwhile, fewer people smoking might reduce health problems. Great. But fewer health problems will not cancel out all of that missing revenue from all of those missing smokers. Which means.... [drum roll, please] ....


That is, unless the government can somehow find 22 million additional smokers in an era of declining smoking rates. If anything, we'll have millions fewer smokers, not millions more:


Oh, what a tangled web they weave, when Democrats misconceive.

Maybe to avoid raising taxes on everyone, we'll soon see this sort of thing on buses and billboards:


Or maybe this one:


It's difficult, politically-speaking, to vote against anything for the children. But fiscally-speaking, a vote against SCHIP expansion is an absolute no-brainer.

Posted by Will Franklin · 25 July 2007 04:32 PM


sicko was a box office success? Sicko cost around $30 to $40 million to make, and it has only earned 20 million so far in the box office.

Posted by: piko at July 25, 2007 05:42 PM

I love the irony of the Democrats using a regressive tax on the poor to fund a program for the poor (and not so poor).

Posted by: John in IL at July 25, 2007 08:53 PM

For smokers, we'll have to depend on immigrants, who typically smoke in higher percentages than people currently in the United States.

Sadly for Mexico, they smoke fewer cigarettes per capita than the rest of the Spanish speaking Americas, so we'll have to build that fence after all...

Venezuelan refugees... smoking the tobacco Citizens won't smoke. And it's For The Children™!

Posted by: Mr. Michael at July 26, 2007 01:52 AM