While it’s gratifying that the U.S. House sustained President Bush’s veto of Congress’ SCHIP expansion to middle class families, this is no time to become complacent. This vote is just a prelude to the war for America’s heart and soul that will occur in 2008. If anything, conservatives’ fall from grace in 2006 has enabled the battle lines to become clearer: democracy, personal responsibility and limited government on the one hand; socialism on the other. For both sides, the battle over SCHIP thus represented a milestone (but expect more to come) — with some, including Civitas, warning that SCHIP could destroy healthcare; and others, such as Representative Harry Reid (D-Nev.), calling the defeat “one of the worst things to happen to this country besides the war.”
With the stakes so high, it’s a shame that there is so much confusion over what Americans want out of their healthcare system. As Civitas’ October poll indicates, far more people (43 percent) are concerned about the cost of healthcare than they are about the number of “poor” who lack insurance. Yet, one of the primary reasons healthcare is so expensive is because the government has made it so — through coverage mandates, for instance, and prohibiting the interstate sale of policies.
Civitas’ polling also indicates that most people (77 percent) are happy with the quality of healthcare they are receiving. Yet as we have seen in every country in which socialized medicine has been tried, quality declines when the government takes over.
More government = increased costs and lower quality. Yes, things are becoming clearer. … but expect more confusion ahead as the debate continues into 2008.