Republican Culture of Life

Robert Pear, NYTimes:

The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families.

Steve Benen, Crooks and Liars:

Not only has the Bush White House strongly resisted a bipartisan congressional effort to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Plan to include 4 million uninsured American children, now our “compassionate conservative” president is forcing states to limit access for kids, too.

The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families. […]

After learning of the new policy, some state officials said yesterday that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children and would impose standards that could not be met.

“We are horrified at the new federal policy,” said Ann Clemency Kohler, deputy commissioner of human services in New Jersey. “It will cause havoc with our program and could jeopardize coverage for thousands of children.”

This is compassionate Conservatism.  This is Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul in the oval office.  This is a political ideology that puts people second.

The Republican political philosophy is about insisting that more government is always bad and the private sector will always provide.  People feel the cost of this philosophy daily (August Pollak):

The Children’s Defense Fund (who I work for) launched a new campaign on Tuesday to raise awareness of the lack of health care for millions of children in America. If you think the lack of health care in America isn’t a critical issue, then you don’t read stories like this:

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren’t so hard to find.

If his mother hadn’t been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte’s own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George’s County boy died.

Dental health care coverage would have fixed Driver’s teeth for less than a hundred bucks. If opponents of universal health care don’t care at all for the agonizing death forced on a 12-year old boy because of this country’s “best health care system in the world,” then maybe they might be alterted to the additional fact that Driver’s final days were spent exhausting almost $250,000 on emergency care.

Eighty dollars versus a quarter of a million and a dead child. Yeah, this is an important issue.

This is small government Republicanism.  Classical conservatism.  Neo conservatism.  Compassionate Conservatism.  It is the reality all of us suffer under when Republican beliefs become policy.  Take a good long look, and keep this firmly in mind when a Ron Paul supporter evangelizes about freedom and capitalism.  Remember it when every single Republican candidate says they oppose universal health care.

This is the Republican Culture of Life.

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3 Responses

  1. Encouraging people to become dependent on governmentis not compassionate in any culture. Stealing from Peter to buy health insurance for Pedro is not compassionate either

  2. What a hollow argument Steven. Of course it is compassionate to ensure everyone, no matter who they are, has health coverage. It is compassionate in motivation and in effect.

    Why can’t everyone’s taxes be a bit higher to ensure everyone has access to medical care?

  3. First, you got the translation wrong and second, if my taxpayer money goes to fund my child health care and I get a better product than what the private insurance bureaucracy spits out, I go with the goverment.

    Your argument is premised on several fallacies/falsehoods:

    That paying taxes is equivalent to theft, if those tax dollars are used for social services. Is it the same thing if the money is used for a brand new aircraft carrier?

    That all private endeavors are superior to goverment ones. Just because anti-goverment libertarians equate alls things goverment with evil doe snot make it so.

    Ultimately this is an argument about priorities. What are yours?

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