Remember the old tag line for Levy’s rye bread? It was “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s.”
Similarly, you don’t have to be a fisherman to recognize a red herring when you see one. That species of fish was quite in evidence as President Bush vetoed the bill to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and then picked up the drumbeat as the House took a couple of weeks to get ready to vote on overriding his veto.
The redness of the herring was so bright it was almost neon. What was it? It was the president’s pronouncement that this bill to expand the program to 10 million kids would be the first step down the sorry road to socialized medicine in this country–a situation where the government would (sooner than you know) be running the health care delivery system.
Nobody believes this.
It is almost as if the president had decided to resurrect what was a particularly powerful weapon from 15 years ago to see if it still could shoot. Well, it seems as if the gun still could cough out a bullet, maybe two. But pretty soon, that old gun is going to be shooting blanks.
Could all the groups that supported the legislation and that have a strong stake in keeping health care out of the government’s hands–including none other than America’s Health Insurance Plans–really have been so duped that they failed to see that it represented, as the president asserted, the first step down the road to misery?
More likely is that such an argument was a cover for not wanting to cover poor kids. But this would sound awful, wouldn’t it? So dress it up with a bit of apocalyptical nonsense and wham! you’ve created a rallying point.
For the life of me I simply cannot understand how the president could veto this bill. We’re talking, after all, about a $30 billion difference between his $5 billion proposal and the legislation’s addition of $35 billion to the program. And that’s over 5 years!