What About Prescription Drugs?
In his recent column, David Broder looks at President Bush's opposition to expanding health care to poor children under the S-Chip program. Bush and his underlings throw out the old "government run health care" canard.
Now, as Leavitt conceded in an interview, "it may take another election" to bring the country face to face with the larger issues Bush has raised: how big a role the federal government should take in providing medical services and how that role should be financed.
For the president and Leavitt, the answer is that the government should provide a safety net for the medical needs of the poor and the elderly -- but everyone else should have private health insurance, with coverage monitored by the states and premiums subsidized by federal tax credits.
With that vision in mind, the administration repeatedly accuses the Democrats of favoring "government-run health care." Unpersuaded by the success of Medicare and SCHIP, Bush and his associates denounce efforts by congressional Democrats to extend the program to millions more children.
Whatever the merits of this argument (and I don't think there are many), it overlooks one pretty important detail - the Bush Administration already expanded the government's reach into health care.
Wasn't it only a few years ago, with Democrats pushing for a a prescription drug program, that Bush and friends pushed their version of a prescription drug bill? Can anyone tell me why it is okay for the government to help seniors get prescription drugs, but socialism when poor children need health care?