Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bush to Medicare, Medicaid and S-CHIP: Drop Dead?

In his acceptance speech at the 2004 Republican presidential convention, George W. Bush said:

America's children must also have a healthy start in life. In a new term, we will lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children who are eligible but not signed up for the government's health insurance programs.

At the White House on Wednesday, Bush said:

I believe government cannot provide affordable health care.

He said so in defending his threat to veto bipartisan legislation that would reauthorize and expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health coverage to 6.6 million poor children. So does Bush really believe what he says--that government cannot deliver on health care? Then does Bush want to shut down Medicaid and Medicare?

That remark was more evidence of Bush's sloppy thinking. It's pretty clear that Medicare and Medicaid have done a better job of providing health coverage for the poor (young and old) than the private sector. (Economics 101: it's hard for private industry to help you if you don't have much money.) And S-CHIP has also been a success. Bush vowed he would expand it in 2004. Now he dismisses government healthcare programs.

As for the current S-CHIP debate, a bipartisan Senate majority--including Republicans Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley--wants to add $5 billion a year to the program to cover more of the children already eligible for it and to expand the program to assist children not now eligible. Bush has offered to increase the program by only $1 billion a year, which would leave many kids out in the cold. And he apparently would rather stop the whole program than see Republican and Democratic lawmakers enlarge it.

Bush said that the debate of S-CHIP represents a "philosophical divide." Well, he's going to make millions of kids pay for his government-can't-do-healthcare philosophy. So much for compassionate conservatism.

HANDCUFF AWAY. Whenever Congress debates the Iraq war, Bush-backers on and off Capitol Hill argue that Congress does not have the authority to micromanage the commander in chief. Actually, there's a bit of hypocrisy on this point. When House Democrats tried to attach various conditions to funding for the Iraq war earlier this year, their Republican antagonists decried the move as micromanaging. Yet when the Democrats recently pushed a measure calling for withdrawing troops within 120 days, some Republicans slammed the legislation for being too vague. In any event, fans of the Iraq war often cry foul when congressional foes try to infringe upon Bush's prerogatives regarding the war. Now comes the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress, to say, Hey, if the House and the Senate want to legislate a president's options during a war, there's nothing wrong--constitutionally speaking--with that.

The new report notes:

It has been suggested that the President's role as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces provides sufficient authority for his deployment of troops, and any efforts on the part of Congress to intervene could represent an unconstitutional violation of separation-of-powers principles. While even proponents of strong executive prerogative in matters of war appear to concede that it is within Congress's authority to cut off funding entirely for a military operation, it has been suggested that spending measures that restrict but do not end financial support for the war in Iraq would amount to an "unconstitutional condition." The question may turn on whether specific proposals involve purely operational decisions committed to the President in his role as Commander in Chief, or whether they are instead valid exercises of Congress's authority to allocate resources using its war powers and power of the purse...

The report provides historical examples of measures that restrict the use of particular personnel, and concludes with a brief analysis of arguments that might be brought to bear on the question of Congress's authority to limit the availability of troops to serve in Iraq. Although not beyond debate, such a restriction appears to be within Congress's authority to allocate resources for military operations.

Tip of the hat to Secrecy News for bringing this to our attention. You can read the full report here.

Posted by David Corn at July 19, 2007 11:20 AM


David B. Benson said...

Odds on: $100 per barrel, Texas Sweet Light, by November 2008.

capt said...

"We kill at every step, not only in wars, riots, and executions. We kill when we close our eyes to poverty, suffering, and shame. In the same way all disrespect for life, all hard-heartedness, all indifference, all contempt is nothing else than killing. With just a little witty skepticism we can kill a good deal of the future in a young person. Life is waiting everywhere, the future is flowering everywhere, but we only see a small part of it and step on much of it with our feet." : - Hermann Hesse, German poet and novelist.

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men: Abraham Lincoln: 16th U.S. president, 1809-1865

"He who would do good" wrote William Blake, "must do so in minute particulars. General good is the plea of the scoundrel, the hypocrite and the liar." It is also the plea of most political ideologues who do not hesitate, and often in the name of "the People", to persecute in minute particulars for the sake of the general good. The idea that heaven on earth is possible through the implementation of a political ideal is one of the most destructive ideas we have ever played with: Extract from Jeremy Taylor's Book - Ag Pleez Deddy - a South African musician


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

David B. Benson said...

"A kilogram of beef causes more greenhouse gas and other pollution than driving for three hours while leaving all the lights on at home"

The Australian

capt said...

When Harry Met Harry


It’s been a pathetic sight to see. Leader after leader of the party has donned the seemingly requisite costume – effete manner, soft-spoken delivery, poor-posture, wire-rim glasses – and duly offered up themselves (and us) for slaughter. Who amongst us wasn’t ready to go to the ramparts for cheerful Dick Gephardt? What an inspirational sight Tom Daschle made, meekly whispering his dissent, eh? What a call to arms has been Harry Reid’s measured tones of disagreement with the White House, no? Who wasn’t inspired by Nancy Pelosi’s capitulation before she was even sworn in?

You know, there’s no shame in getting beat up. The shame (in spades) is in getting beat up by a punk like George W. Bush, wielding a handbag as a weapon. Without even fighting back. With truth watching your back, and the public holding your coat. Now that is shameful.

Progressives have rightly and angrily denounced these failures of leadership in the only party they can reasonably hope could be a vehicle for a semi-sane politics in the American empire. And so it is only fair that we also recognize the Democratic leadership when they occasionally get it right. Not that fairness, mind you, has much of a role in the game of politics as played in Washington, and not that finally showing up after a million people are already dead and another four million have been turned into refugees constitutes getting it right anywhere but in Washington, of course.

But just as it’s important to show encouragement to children and household pets in order to reinforce desired behavior, so we will have to potty-train our Democratic leaders until they finally get it right, mixing scolds in response to mistakes with praise and cookies when they manage to do the right thing.

In the former category is Cindy Sheehan’s threat to demolish Nancy Pelosi in her own home district if the Speaker fails to impeach Bush and Cheney.

In the latter is this article, in which I am sending Harry Reid a very big cookie for finally learning to play even moderately hard ball against the viciously destructive Republican death machine.

After the harrowing and disgusting capitulation of Reid and Pelosi to Bush’s incredibly weak hand in the Iraq war appropriation matter a month or so ago, I and other critics berated the Democrats for not even using the institutional powers available to them as the majority party in Congress to exact a toll from the GOP for their murderous intransigence. We lambasted the Dems for failing even to force Republicans to own the consequences of their war policies, let alone for not articulating a cogent alternative.

Well, apparently somebody was listening, because this week Senator Reid began to get it right.


David B. Benson said...

"... cogent alternative ..."


Gerald said...

Posters, please always remember that Hitler is a liar. He always lies. The Nazis and the PNAC led by Hitler Kristol also want six billion human beings terminated on planet, Earth. We cannot escape the evil that is destined for our people and our country.

I was watching television and the Nazi Party, if there is an election, will vote for the Nazi candidate whether he is pro-life or not. The Nazi Party is only concerned about taxcuts, murders, torture, and war crimes. They are really the party that wants death and destruction in the world. They are pro-death.

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: July 20

capt said...

Chris Matthews calls Judy Miller a Hero!

From the surreal to the absurd. Tweety had on the disgraced former NY Times war propagandist Judy Miller on Hardball today to share with us her thoughts on our terror readiness.

Download (WMV)

Download (MOV)

Matthews: Judy, you’re a hero to the press. You are a woman to be trusted with secrets and thank you for coming on.
Dick Cheney thanks her too for printing as much WH propaganda as she could get her hands on so it could be used by the administration to take us to war. She certainly is the person I want to hear from. [vomit]

It’s bad enough that she’s back on teevee, but in Matthews intro to her, he called her a hero because she went to jail for Scooter Libby who leaked her and leaked her and leaked her and….

A stenographer that helped pave the way for the Iraq war with her phony columns (with the help of Michael Gordon) is nothing more than a disgusting scab that reminds us how culpable the media and the NY Times were in providing material for the Bush/Lieberman/neocon wet dream fantasy in Iraq.


*****end of clip*****

We can always count on tweety. What a lop.


capt said...

Matthews: I ’sympathize with Scooter Libby.’

MSNBC’s Hardball this evening, host Chris Matthews briefly spoke to former New York Times reporter Judy Miller about her role in the “Scooter” Libby trial. At the end of the conversation, Matthews remarked “You can’t talk about the case, I completely understand that. I sympathize with you. And I sometimes even sympathize with Scooter Libby.” Watch it: (at the link)


capt said...

New Thread