Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What the SCHIP is going on, here?

The New York Times and The Boston Globe reported the following the other day:

A coalition of states (New Jersey, Maryland, Arizona, California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington) is challenging the Bush administration over new CMS rules that make it more difficult to extend State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) coverage to children in families with incomes at or above 250% of the federal poverty level. The states are mounting the challenge as Bush threatens to veto a compromise bill that would reauthorize and expand SCHIP and relax some of the recently imposed coverage limits.

CMS has the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines on its website, as follows:

Family Poverty 250% of
Size Level Poverty Level
1 10,210.00 25,525.00
2 13,690.00 34,225.00
3 17,170.00 42,925.00
4 20,650.00 51,625.00
5 24,130.00 60,325.00
6 27,610.00 69,025.00
7 31,090.00 77,725.00
8 34,570.00 86,425.00

Sorry if everything is not lined up – I used spaces and HTML will probably render them a mess.

I am not a liberal or a conservative. Well, not really. I guess for me, with a family size of 2, $13,690 seems like a pittance. It really does. But at 250% of poverty level, that sort of seems like it is either two people with minimal incomes, or someone in Georgia with about my income. Looking at the states involved, and it appears that most of them are in the "high cost" states. Well, I am not sure if I would have lumped Arizona, or Illinois (outside of Chicago), in those high cost states. But maybe they are.

Part of me is thinking that the government should not subsidize healthcare for people earning two-and-a-half times the poverty level. Seems to be a step towards socialized medicine. Not that I would turn it down.

I guess the way of looking at it is if I were a single parent making what I make, what would I do. I would of course take the benefit. But I would be an average single parent of one – and I am not sure the government should step in.

Crap, am I becoming libertarian? Oh, SCHIP, I hope not.


RWA said...

"Part of me is thinking that the government should not subsidize healthcare for people earning two-and-a-half times the poverty level. Seems to be a step towards socialized medicine."

I agree that the government should not do that - and that it is a step in that direction (which I personally disagree with as well).

Anonymous Boxer said...

This kind of mumbo-jumbo combined with real people, can make anyone re-think how our government works. Don't be "scared"...Libertarians are nice too. Oh, wait, I thought you said "Librarians." Never mind.

T said...

politics... politics... politics.. How many billions have we wasted on the President's (notice I didn't say leader)No Child Left Behind program. A program that is a federal program that puts all the pressure on the states and local governments to produce and is full of holes.How many billions have we wasted in the name of homeland security and the billions lost in a desert (not to mention the lives). My wife and I were both Vista volunteers and 3 of our kids spent a year in Americorp because taking care of the underserved in this country is not a priority of our government. Whoever holds the purse strings in D.C. decides what the priorities are.

Prata said...

Socialized medicine would be _much_ much better than the high cost medicine that we have now. Looking forward to the globalization effort, and the severe lack of discretion that private companies have used in producing their products (using poorer countries as their test beds with horrific results in some places) as well as the well known and much unappreciated removal of perfectly good products because they are no longer high margin profit products in poor countries, one has to wonder just what sort of individual thinks it's okay to let private business run the health care field as it is now.

And yes, I know you want an example.

Ornidyl - Sleeping Sickness Melarsoprol. Go have a looksie. Sure, we can ignore the fact that we are actively seeking a global economy with such organizations as the World Bank and the UN and other economic deals such as countries joining the EU and standardizing their money; however, as long as private medicine continues to exploit the poorer countries it's really short sighted to think that socialized medicine or some limited form of it is not going to be good for the people in general rather than just those that can afford insurance.

Why exactly do the poor and uninsured go to the ER every time they get ill (and I mean ill as in a cold or the flu)? The answer to that question is, they can't afford the insurance premium or the co-pay; however, they make too much money (unless they are homeless) to be put on welfare or other government assistance programs. That's just kind of sad and it drives up the money bleed hospitals experience which then is transferred to us. Yay. If socializing or in some limited fashion of socializing health care would bring health care down to sensible costs I'm all for that.

Leesa said...

rwa: and here we sit, agreeing with President Bush. That makes me feel bad.

boxer: librarians are our friends.

t: seems like "no child left behind" does not really help. I read something about that recently - some book that analyzes it statistically. Okay, I glossed over it.

prata: Insurance companies that buffer the cost of medical care have a lot to do with the cost of medicine. Oh, and the poor (that qualify for Medicaid) go to the ER for care because it costs them nothing to do so. They would rather do that than to wait at a doctor's office (that also costs them nothing). Small co-pays help control costs by stopping visits if just for some Tylenol. And 9 of 10 fire responses in Savannah are for what firefighters call "taxi service". Poor people wanting a ride to their doctor's office.

milnuts said...

Look, if we as American's are sitting around waiting for our federal government to meet all of our needs we will always be left wanting. Whether its health care, our children's education, or any number of other things it will rarely work. And when the government actually does something beneficial for its people, it is never done as efficiently as the private sector can do it. I think there is a place for our federal government, but its such a beaurocratic behemoth that if you expect it to meet your needs you are in for a world of disappointment.

Leesa said...

milnuts: the government has different motivations - people in government grow their jobs by attracting money, people, whatever. Inefficiency is rewarded.

Prata said...

Yes, that's Medicaid...I work in a hospital, I'm familiar with it lol, which is why I'm going to point out that low income does not make you eligible for Medicaid. Why is that? Because if you have real assets these can bar you from Medicaid. Being unemployed also does not automatically qualify you for Medicaid. Being homeless helps with Medicaid...sadly...the ER does not see a relatively (please note that word) high number of homeless medicaid patients.

I am very aware of the fact that many calls are basically taxi service calls. Again, working in a hospital (although not in patient care) I'm exposed to this information and the dollar statistics on a daily basis. After all, it's stored on my servers. ^_^

That buffer you're talking about comes from insurance companies charging the hospitals more money for employee coverage and our rates and co-pays hiking even more, and this burden is continually increased due to artificial inflation in the health care costs as well as the amount of money bled on ER visits and patients unable to pay after their insurance runs out. This typically puts patients and their families into serious financial crisis, which then strains the rest of the economy, look at our aging population? Baby boomers and all.

@ Milnuts
No one is saying we should be sitting around and waiting for the government to do anything for us; however, you have to remember that our governments (the world governments) are increasingly moving toward more socialist mind sets. It can only continue in that manner unless we forget entirely about globalization and become closed societies again. That, won't happen and as such it is either social reform that will see a more government institutionalized set of services such as health care or our economies becoming like that of some dark future sci-fi movie where companies run everything. Working within a health care company, I can honestly say that I am not in favor of that idea. Privatization is faster, yes, but it is not always safer, or better.

Prata said...

I almost forgot! I didn't take into account that our wonderful government did delete the California government domain...maybe I should rethink my comments. *blinks* ^_^ See you tomorrow Leesa!