Credit where it's due

A little while back I posted an item calling into question the bipartisan cred of our two GOP Senators from Maine, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. I meant what I said: I will believe in their so-called moderate take on things when I see evidence. In that spirit, I offer this, courtesy of the New Republic's new health care blog:

Just in from the Senate Finance Committee: They've approved an extension--and expansion--of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. And, like their counterparts in the House, they've struck the provision in existing law that prohibits the children of legal immigrants from receiving benefits for five years.

As expected, most of the committee's Republicans protested the immigrant provision. They also raised familiar objections about the extension of government-administered health insurance, in this case to some middle-income families. It didn't matter. The bill passed on a nearly party line vote, with a lone Republican--Maine Senator Olympia Snowe--switching sides to vote with her Democratic colleagues.

By the way, Snowe not only voted for the final measure. To her credit, she also co-sponsored the immigrant provision.

This is a truly admirable thing to do, and it's only fair that I acknowledge it.

By the same token, I would like to tell the remaining Republicans on the committee that their opposition is truly nauseating. The provision in question pertains to children of legal immigrants, so it's not even a question of the rule of law, it's that they just don't like immigrants. And, in case it needs to be said, middle-income families struggle with health care costs, too. In fact, S-CHIP is specifically designed to help families that do not qualify for state-sponsored programs like Medicaid, but cannot afford private insurance. Heaven forbid we should be taking some of the burden off the middle class during an economic downturn!

1 comment:

  1. Hear, hear. If we are going to provide medical coverage for the under 18 set, children of legal immigrants ought to be in.

    I might even go one more; since we are moving towards full Federalization of medical insurance, let's cover everyone under 18, and do it now, just as we cover the over 65 crowd. The nice thing about the kids is that, the very young aside, they are about as healthy a group as you can find. So let's have all private policies drop coverage of children and put them entirely on the Federal Plan. No more SCHIP, and what an investment in the future of the country!