14 December 2007

Bush again chooses tobacco over children

He did it again. This past week, George W. Bush, the self-proclaimed "compassionate conservative", again vetoed a bill that would provide health care for children.

According to an article in yesterday's Washington Post, "Bush cited the same reasons that led him to veto a version of the bill on Oct. 3 -- that it raised cigarette taxes and provided coverage for children of middle-class families instead of focusing on the working poor."

First I'll address his second objection -- that the bill would provide coverage for children of middle-class families. Um, there are a lot of middle-class families in this country who don't have health care coverage, and it's not necessarily their fault. They work. They work very hard. But they cannot afford medical insurance. And so, in the case of a catastrophic illness or injury, they're out of luck. And, thanks to George W. Bush, if that catastrophic illness or injury happens to a child, well, tough. The kid will just have to suffer. And maybe die.

Now for the other excuse -- that it would raise cigarette taxes. Wow. This is extremely telling. And it's telling us that Bush believes that affordable cigarettes and tobacco industry profits are more important than the health of our children.

This is Bush's "culture of life".

2 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

I don't think the issue here is cigarette taxes taking priority over children. The point is that many families can afford health insurance and just CHOOSE NOT TO PURCHASE IT, meaning that their children are also without insurance. The sad reality is that the ones who truly need it (ie, the families who fall in the middle income range and actually work for a living instead of waiting for handouts) won't be able to get it regardless of the policy. Most of our systems are designed to promote and reward prolonged reliance on public assistance and punish those who truly make the effort to be self-sufficient. As far as not being able to afford insurance, my mother is 64 and has no health insurance due to her place of employment closing. However, she can't get any assistance at all with payment and can't find any for less than $400 per month. She cannot afford that, or her $300 monthly medicine bill, but certainly no one has come forth to help her. She has worked all of her life and now can get no assistance. Why then, should we offer blanket coverage to those who never even make the effort? Granted, children cannot work but it is the responsibility of the parents to provide health coverage. Just because someone chooses to have children, that doesn't make my tax dollars responsible for their healthcare. We have a big enough deficit as it is without this added strain. I don't have children for a few reasons, mainly because I don't want the responsibility, but the other reason is affordability -- if you can't afford them, then don't have them.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Mary Shaw said...

So then, Kim, you believe that innocent children should have to pay for the sins of the parents?

2:22 PM  

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