Years ago when the Simpsons was still funny they had a recurring bit where a concerned citizen would plead “Won’t somebody please think of the children?”. Today I ask is there not one member of the Senate with a D after their name that will stand up for the children of America? While Harry Reid is busy trying to concoct a bill behind closed doors that can get 60 votes by his artificial Christmas deadline. One thing remains clear. If the eventual bill resembles all the others that have seen the light of day it will have a terrible impact on children.
For starters, the employer mandates will hit small businesses very hard and will lead to yet more layoffs. This legislation makes it too expensive for small business, the growth engine of our economy to maintain current employment levels let alone expand their operations. There are millions of jobs at stake, both in potential layoffs and new jobs that won’t be created. Any child whose parent loses a job or can’t find one because of this bill is worse off for its passage.
This legislation will cause health insurance rates to increase, not decrease as promised. For those Americans that receive their health coverage through their employer they will be hit with higher premiums and see any wage gains swallowed in icreased medical costs paid by their employers. For those whose employers decide to drop medical coverage altogether, they and their families can look forward to a future on Medicaid. Families shunted onto Medicaid could lose their doctors. One third of physicians don’t accept Medicaid because of its way below market reimbursement rates. If losing their family doctor isn’t bad enough they will be forced onto a plan, Medicaid, that already has trillions of dollars of liabilities in the coming years that it doesn’t have the funds to pay for. This is the equivalent of piling children onto the Titanic just before it slips beneath the waves.
If the substandard health care received under Medicaid isn’t bad enough, this legislation will also impact childrens’ education. Governor Bredesen (D-TN):”described the options in the event of a Medicaid expansion as putting one’s state “into bankruptcy” or its education system “in the tank.”. Medicaid is a joint Federal/State program so any increase in the number of people on the program means higher bills for state governments’. Because most if not all states’ require balanced budgets this will mean increased taxes and spending cuts. Simply put, expanding Medicaid means a decrease in funding for schools and local aid by cash strapped state governments’.
Finally, the last bill we had a CBO score for came in at a budget busting 2.5 trillion dollar ten year pricetag. When you add this spending on top of the yearly trillion dollar plus deficits the Obama administration is already projecting as far as the eye can see, it’s not hard to see the fiscal trainwreak that awaits America’s children. Their future will be one of extortionary tax levels coupled with anemic growth. This legislation will end the American dream of every generation being better off than the one before it. The debts that are being run up today must be paid and it’s immoral to saddle future generations with misery for a pyrrhic health care reform victory.
The question of the moment remains whether Senator Nelson (D-NE) holds his ground or caves to the pressure being exerted by President Obama. It’s truly sad, considering what’s at stake that Nelson seems to be all alone on his side of the aisle. Let’s hope he stays strong, if not for us, for the sake of the children.