Less ‘Blame’ and More ‘Solutions’ Needed for Uninsured, Los Angeles Times Says
With most national politicians either ignoring health care issues or using them as a "hammer" against election-year opponents, voters should note who is offering "solutions" and who is "cynically spinning" the debate, the
Los Angeles Times writes in an editorial. For example, after Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) proposed delaying part of President Bush's $1.3 trillion tax cut to fund health care initiatives, some Republicans and Democrats "scream[ed] bloody murder" that Kennedy was threatening bipartisanship and raising taxes. While Kennedy's plan may not be "politically feasible," it and other "bold ideas" for expanding health coverage make "a lot of sense." Instead of attacking such ideas, politicians need to "get outside" the Beltway and talk to governors, the editorial says, adding that if they did, "they might be startled to find a growing prairie revolution in favor of at least one reform: helping states expand the Children's Health Insurance Program" to cover poor adults. The Times notes that "[t]his is more than a bleeding-heart entitlement for adults. Study after study shows that when low-income parents have health insurance, they're far more likely to make sure their kids get care too." Politicians should work to expand such coverage and not use "glib caricatures to blame one another." The Times notes that although President Bush has already approved requests from six governors to expand CHIP programs to cover parents, funding has not been appropriated to help states "afford the expansion." This goes against a promise Bush made during the campaign, when he said access to health care is "a goal worthy of our nation," the editorial says. The Times concludes: "Watch for [spin] on the political talk shows on television this weekend. Then pick up your pen or telephone and let these politicians know what you think of 'leaders' who dodge responsibility for something as crucial as health care" (Los Angeles Times, 1/18).