Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bush Blocks for Uncle Bucky

The Bush administration revealed yet another rule change protecting private health insurance companies at the expense of children. The rule handcuffs any states wanting to reduce the 8.3 million uninsured children in America (which happens to the be the same number of kids without health insurance when the Republicans took over Congress in the early 1990's). With the swipe of a pen George's bureaucrats imposed a year long waiting period for states innovating with CHIP to reduce the number of uninsured. This comes on top of the 95% coverage requirement announced days ago.

Who benefits from these protectionist moves? It's the usual suspects, Bush relatives, friends and high dollar donors. The President's Uncle Bucky sits on the Board of Directors of giant insurer WellPoint. The Carlyle Group purchased the country's largest PPO in 2006, Multiplan. We know President Bush's answer for all those kids under a one year waiting period for coverage. "Just go to an ER." Or better yet, "Get your parents to fund a health savings account. Oopps! That program requires people have health insurance!"

So why the lack of compassion for kids when the administration has all the compassion in the world for busineses that pay taxes? At the end of his first term President Bush effectively granted U.S. flagged shippers tax exempt status by enacting the tonnage tax. As children weigh little and don't vote, they don't get any benefits under the weight based tax. However, obesity is growing in America's youth. It may be but a matter of time before they accumulate the political weight to get legislation and regulations in their favor. But until then, I predict George will have Uncle Bucky's, The Carlyle Group's, and for-profit healthcare's back. Your franchise is still good, for now, Mr. Flip-flopper. These children might grow up enough to vote...