The capacity for conservatives to practice their cruel brand of compassion has ceased to surprise. But President Bush’s attempt to punish states trying to provide health coverage to uninsured kids is surprising for its political idiocy.
States are trying to cover as many of the 9 million currently uninsured children as they can with what funds they have, so kids won’t die for a lack of regular care.
But Bush’s health department just threatened states with “corrective action” if they didn’t add insurmountable obstacles for squeezed middle-class families. That could pressure states to kick some kids out of the program.
A new missive to state officials effectively prevents them from covering families that earn more than 250% of the poverty line — about $43,000 a year, before taxes, for a family of three, or $51,000 a year for a family of four.
An average family health insurance plan costs over $11,000 a year, so if you don’t get decent insurance from an employer, paying out of pocket is extremely difficult.
What’s bizarre is the timing.