Thursday, October 18, 2007

S-CHIP's Other Little Victims

In the fight to override Bush’s veto, Democrats may have put the spotlight on the wrong victims. Instead of pushing forward 12-year-old brain injured Graeme Frost and two-year-old Bethany Wilkerson with her heart problem, they might have converted more Republicans by emphasizing the other sufferers from unaffordable health care--America’s small business owners.

“The future of SCHIP,” according to a recent article in Forbes, no bleeding-heart liberal journal, “is particularly significant to small business. Of the 6.6 million children up to age 19 that receive health insurance through SCHIP, 37 percent belong to parents who work for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, estimates the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan tax research organization.”

In July, the President made one of his photo-op I-talk-you-listen visits to a group of small business owners. His host, Clifton Broumand, according to the Washington Post, “could barely get a word in as Bush opined on children's health insurance and other health topics.”

Private insurers, Gourmand would have told him if he could, "are like the Godfather--they make you an offer you can't refuse. When my insurance goes up 73 percent in four years, that's a tax...All these things are hidden taxes.

"When you don't cover children, what ends up happening is that when kids are sick, which happens in my office, parents aren't productive. They have to go home."

Small businesses, USA Today reports, “are driven crazy by soaring employee health costs, an expense that surveys show has become the biggest headache and obstacle to growth.”

In the next round, Democrats should try pushing forward restaurateurs, realtors and owners of small construction firms instead the tots of people who work for them.

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