Election 2008: An Unhealthy Outcome

Election 2008: An Unhealthy Outcome

The federal outcome of the 2008 election bodes ill for Americans’ ability to regain control of their health care dollars. Before the election, PRI compared the candidates’ health plans and concluded that Senator McCain’s proposal was generally superior. Senator Obama’s plan was ambitious and weakly defined, but with strong Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, his administration’s health reforms will quickly take legislative shape.

More Kids Dependent on Government for Health Care

The first step will likely be to take more kids out of health care of their parents’ choice, and put them into health care of the government’s choice, by expanding eligibility for enrollment in State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Although his campaign proposal did not state by how much Senator Obama intends to increase Medicaid and SCHIP enrollment, prior legislative action provides some insight.

In October, 2007, President Bush vetoed a bill that would have expanded the baseline eligibility for SCHIP from kids in families with household incomes below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to those with incomes below 300 percent of the FPL. Although Democratic leaders in the Congress succeeded in pulling quite a few Republicans to their side, they were unable to gather enough votes to override the veto

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