Is your kid without health insurance? Bush aims to keep it that way.

July 26, 2007 at 4:15 pm (injustice, politics, stupidity) (, , , , )

From Alternet:

Deamonte Driver had a toothache. He was 12 years old. He had no insurance, and his mother couldn’t afford the $80 to have the decayed tooth removed. He might have gotten it taken care of through Medicaid, but his mother couldn’t find a dentist who accepted the low reimbursements.

Instead, Deamonte got some minimal attention from an emergency room, his condition worsened and he died. Deamonte was one of 9 million children in the U.S. without health insurance.

Congress is considering bipartisan legislation that will cover poor children in the U.S.

The major obstacle? President Bush is vowing to veto the bill, even though Republican and Democratic senators reached bipartisan agreement on it. The bill adds $35 billion to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program over the next five years by increasing federal taxes on cigarettes.

Of course, conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation argue that an increase in taxes on tobacco would be unfair to young or low-income smokers. Seeing as how this kind of increase would probably result in less death from smoking and fewer underage smokers, though, I have to disagree.

 According to the American Association for Respiratory Care, with every 10 percent rise in the cigarette tax, youth smoking drops by 7 percent and overall smoking declines by 4 percent.

I second Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, when she says:

“Why is this country, at this time, the richest in the world, arguing about how few or how many children they can serve? We ought to–this is a no-brainer. The American people want all of its children served. All children deserve health coverage, and I don’t know why we’re having such a hard time getting our president and our political leaders to get it, that children should have health insurance.”

Should be obvious, right? Ugh.

Relatedly, look out for Sicko, if you haven’t seen it already. It’s very much worth watching.

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4 Comments

  1. ClapSo said,

    It’s a shame that after years of both dem and repub administrations we still have uninsured children in our country!

    The following site offers what I believe would be the best solution to our national health care problem:

    Physicians for a National Health Program

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  2. Emily said,

    Hey, thanks for the link!

  3. ballgame said,

    Sicko was excellent. One day, some brave American politicians are going to bring the U.S. health care system into the 20th century.

  4. Emily said,

    That whole laundry thing…can’t get it out of my mind.

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