Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Poor genre: Econ-Recon & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

Health Insurance


More good news for parents and children! The Bush administration, in conjunction with China, sought to limit the testing of imported products for lead contamination...which includes children's toys.

From McClatchy:

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration and China have both undermined efforts to tighten rules designed to ensure that lead paint isn't used in toys, bibs, jewelry and other children’s products.

Both have fought efforts to better police imported toys from China.

Now both are under increased scrutiny following last week’s massive toy recall by Mattel Inc., the world’s largest toymaker.

The Bush administration has hindered regulation on two fronts, consumer advocates say. It stalled efforts to press for greater inspections of imported children’s products, and it altered the focus of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), moving it from aggressive protection of consumers to a more manufacturer-friendly approach.

“The overall philosophy is regulations are bad and they are too large a cost for industry, and the market will take care of it," said Rick Melberth, director of regulatory policy at OMBWatch, a government watchdog group formed in 1983. “That’s been the philosophy of the Bush administration."

Today, more than 80 percent of all U.S. toys are now made in China and few of them get inspected.

“We’ve been complaining about this issue, warning it is going to happen, and it is disappointing that it has happened," said Tom Neltner, a co-chairman of the Sierra Club’s national toxics committee.

So not only does our President oppose providing health care to children in need, he has no problem exposing them to the risks of lead long as its good for the know...the robust economy that has allowed China to gain a virtual stranglehold on U.S. currency.

From a public relations standpoint, I can't imagine a worse scenario given the recent confluence of events. Here we not only have the Bush administration issuing a change in policy designed to limit the number of children who will have access to health care during a Congressional recess...we have a report that the same administration has put the health of these same children at risk.

I'm not sure how one could make the situation worse...but perhaps if we give it a day or two, the powers that be can announce another measure intended to assure Americans that George Bush is nothing short of Mr. Scrooge. I can't wait to see what the administration may have planned for Christmas. Perhaps the government can assure the voting public that there will be a lead laden toy in every child's Christmas stocking?


The Bush administration loves children...really they do. First they promoted and passed No Child Left Behind...and failed to properly fund it. Then they agreed to provide insurance for children living in households that are unable to afford health insurance...and followed that with a new set of guidelines designed to limit the number of children eligible for the program.

Perhaps this is just a tough love message for that is intended to let them know that there is no time like the present to get out there and find a the Bush twins did. It's also possible the President is hoping to spare children the scourge he felt when political opponents joked that the Bush family had lived a life of privilege...complete with a silver spoon. Regardless, nothing says I love you quite like punishing innocent American children.

Administration officials outlined the new standards in a letter sent to state health officials on Friday evening, in the middle of a month-long Congressional recess. In interviews, they said the changes were aimed at returning the Children’s Health Insurance Program to its original focus on low-income children and to make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage.

After learning of the new policy, some state officials said today that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children by imposing standards that could not be met.

As on other issues like immigration, the White House is taking action on its own to advance policies that were not embraced by Congress.

In the letter sent to state health officials about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dennis G. Smith, the director of the federal Center for Medicaid and State Operations, set a high standard for states that want to raise eligibility for the child health program above 250 percent of the poverty level.

Before making such a change, Mr. Smith said, states must demonstrate that they have “enrolled at least 95 percent of children in the state below 200 percent of the federal poverty level" who are eligible for either Medicaid or the child health program.

In his letter, Mr. Smith said the new standards would apply to states that previously received federal approval to cover children with family incomes exceeding 250 percent of the poverty level. Such states should amend their state plans to meet federal expectations within 12 months, or the Bush administration “may pursue corrective action," Mr. Smith said.

Completely ignored in the issuance of this policy statement by the Bush administration is whether or not insurance is available to a family or whether a family has the means to afford the cost of such insurance. Even worse, the letter indicates that some children must be dropped from the program in order to meet the new guidelines.

The fact that this new policy rationale attempts to portray the issue as a matter of choosing between private insurance and that which would be provided by the government program is laughable. Reality tells us that the choice is actually between having any insurance and having no insurance.

I'm sorry, but this is the same administration that routinely justifies the United States invasion of Iraq as a moral necessity intended to end the mistreatment of the Iraqi people by the Hussein regime. Maybe this new policy letter should have instructed the parents of uninsured children to pack up and move to Iraq...that country where the American compassion compass continues to matter.

Those parents who fail to understand the decision to limit the availability of health care need to understand that the 10 to 12 billion dollars being spent each month in Iraq is for a noble that our president believes is in keeping with his divinely inspired mandate.

After all, it should come as no surprise that this President only takes orders from his heavenly father. As such, its really quite simple...all these parents need to do is convince their uninsured children of the need to pray a little more frequently.

Tagged as: Childrens Toys, China, George W. Bush, Health Care, Insurance, Lead Poisoning, Poverty

Daniel DiRito | August 20, 2007 | 8:19 PM
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