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Splitting the cost of kids' healthcare

August 03, 2007

Re "Stealing healthcare from babies," Opinion, Aug. 1

The explanation for President Bush's stance is simple. He thinks that the best government is no government. Expansion of a successful State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, goes against those beliefs. Creation of bloated and poorly executed programs, like the Medicare drug benefit, supports them. If SCHIP succeeds in insuring all of America's children, more and more people may start asking why we can't do the same for all of America's uninsured.

Davin Swanson

El Segundo

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Ronald Brownstein fails to admit an important caveat. The Bush administration does not propose "stealing healthcare from babies." Bush is proposing an expansion as well, but for less than $50 billion. A legitimate Bush objection is that the Senate bill would give coverage to the children of many families who can well afford private healthcare options. For myself, I'd say the more coverage the merrier -- in fact I am all for universal healthcare. I agree with Brownstein on most of his criticisms of Bush's resistance to this bill. However, the headline is certainly a blatant example of media bias.

John Saylor

Long Beach

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Bush supports reauthorizing this program with enough new funding to ensure that no one currently enrolled loses coverage. His budget also calls for enough funding so that eligible children not already enrolled can be covered. But the Senate and House bills call for a massive expansion of the program to those in higher-income families, moving them from private insurance onto public assistance. The president does not support those proposals. The bills proposed by Congress are not about helping low-income children; they're about using SCHIP to stage a gradual government takeover of American healthcare. Congress should concentrate on keeping its commitment to the low-income children SCHIP is meant to help.

Tom Lorentzen

San Francisco

The writer is regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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In reading Brownstein's excellent piece about Bush's opposition to medical coverage for kids, and given Bush's standing against abortion and stem cell research, I am reminded of the saying: For the president, human rights begin at conception and end at birth.

Jan Goldsmith

Van Nuys

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