Renewal of Kids’ Insurance a Debate on Entitlements
Democratic lawmakers are seeking to use legislation that would reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which will expire on Sept. 30, as an "opening to turn it into another giant middle-class health care entitlement," a Wall Street Journal editorial states.
According to the editorial, Democratic lawmakers have proposed to increase federal funds for SCHIP by $50 billion to $60 billion over five years in part because 18 states this year expect a combined $900 million deficit for the program. But the "crisis" has resulted because "some states have grossly exceeded SCHIP's mandate" to cover low-income children, the Journal reports.
In addition, a bill introduced earlier this year by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) would "make all of this worse" by indexing government "outlays to national health spending and growth in states' child population," the editorial states.
The editorial states that "what began as a hard-cap grant to cover the working poor is evolving into an open-ended entitlement to cover whatever promises states make," and "all under the political cover of helping 'children.'" The editorial concludes that Republican lawmakers should "work to return SCHIP to its original, more modest purposes" (Wall Street Journal, 4/24).