Special Interest Politics

Oct 102007
Authors: Phil Elder

It appears the fear of communism remains abundant in U.S. policy making.

Last week a bill was passed through Congress to expand a free healthcare for children program, raising the income eligibility bar to increase the amount of children covered under the plan.

Currently, the program covers the lowest-income children, who haven’t a chance of affording the disgustingly fiscally inflated private health insurance coverage plans out there today. If the bill were to pass, coverage would expand to the remaining low-income children whose families remain in financial turmoil or for parents who “recently lost their jobs and can’t make ends meet.”

It is, of course, to be expected that the administration would find a fault in such a seemingly benevolent proposal.

Immediately after its congressional approval Oct. 1, the bill was shut down by a presidential veto.

Not because it would raise income taxes, which our “stick to your guns” president flatly refuses to do. Nor because of attached proposals, fine print or any other congressional tricks, as the plan was entirely straight forward in its wording and intent.

The plan, and subsequently the potential millions of children who would be covered by it, was denied because it would “draw children away from private insurance plans and act as a first step toward socialized medicine.”

The plan would rob sick kids away from the loving hands of the HMOs that won’t cover the majority of their more serious illnesses without a co-pay that their families can’t afford, from the grotesque visitation bills that their parents must work two jobs to take care of and the four-figure emergency room costs when their child is bleeding to death and must be seen immediately.

These privatized insurance companies, in turn, would suffer a slight decrease in stock worth, perhaps even a 10 percent cut in salary for the poor, starving CFO’s in charge of them.

This is the concern of our president.

Because of the inherent fear felt by the GOP of the word “socialization,” an ideology promoting better governmental services for its people’s basic necessities and unfortunately (and unfairly) tied to the word “communism,” low-income children across the great United States remain in constant fear of any injury, knowing that the broken arm from their fall off the jungle gym may well stay broken due to their parents’ fiscal situation.

Luckily, the Republican entity in U.S. politics has, once again, appeared to have shot itself in the foot, as Democratic congressmen and the overwhelming majority of the public seem to be up in arms against the veto.

This proverbial uprising has left the GOP with two choices: one, they could rescind their votes against, and vetoes of, the bill and approve the healthcare plan, an action that would simultaneously boast the left’s image as saviors of the lower class population in America and finally (and rightfully) bring down the insane “stick to your guns” approach to politics.

Two, they could remain stubborn in their position against the bill, showing middle and lower America that special interest groups and large corporations truly do have control of the GOP, again championing the Democratic party as the party for the people.

I do not condone the use of bills and referenda as political weapons of attack against the opposing party. But it is truly refreshing to see that a direct assault against the well-being of an estimated 10 million American children will not be tolerated by the American people.

Phil Elder is a senior political science major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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