1993 Internal White House Staff Memo Confirms GOP Suspicions About SCHIP

Many in the GOP have argued that the State Children’s Health Insurance Program as nothing more than a slippery slope to universal health care. Today we get confirmation of that concern. The Politico reports on a 1993 White House staff memo that says then-first lady Hillary Clinton wanted a kids only federal health care program specifically because it would be a precursor to socialized medicine:

Back in 1993, according to an internal White House staff memo, then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s staff saw federal coverage of children as a “precursor” to universal coverage.

In a section of the memo titled “Kids First,” Clinton’s staff laid out backup plans in the event the universal coverage idea failed.

And one of the key options was creating a state-run health plan for children who didn’t qualify for Medicaid but were uninsured.

That idea sounds a lot like the current State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was eventually created by the Republican Congress in 1997.

“Under this approach, health care reform is phased in by population, beginning with children,” the memo says. “Kids First is really a precursor to the new system. It is intended to be freestanding and administratively simple, with states given broad flexibility in its design so that it can be easily folded into existing/future program structures.”

The memo was sent to Politico by a Republican congressional office.

But the document is part of a trove of paperwork released as part of a 1993 lawsuit between the Clinton health care task force and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The Hillary campaign is denying that she specifically pushed the Kids First program, but that she just dropped the bomb of her universal health care system just a week or so ago shows that she is in fact using it as a precursor to getting more and more Americans onto the government’s health care welfare program.

The Congress has just passed a massive expansion of SCHIP, which President Bush says he will veto. Why? The White House released some numbers to consider:

SCHIP was designed to cover children from families who do not qualify for Medicaid but have annual incomes at or below 200% of the Federal poverty level or 50% above a State’s Medicaid eligibility level in 1997. However, Congress’ new SCHIP bill would allow and strongly encourage States to provide government health coverage for children in families making 300% of the Federal poverty level, or almost $62,000 for a family of four. And that’s not all. This new bill would enable SCHIP to cover children in some households with incomes of up to 400% of the Federal poverty level (about $83,000 per year). Since when do families making $83,000 qualify for welfare?

The real goal of this bill is to encourage Americans with private health insurance to leave that system and sign up for health care welfare. If Bush doesn’t veto the bill, of the 5.8 million enrollees Congress’ legislation would attract by 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that 2.0 million would drop private insurance to enroll. It would be terrible for the American culture and spirit if Americans abandon the values of self-reliance and rugged individualism and joins the ranks of those already dependent on a government handout.

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