Mar 18, 2002
States, one after the other, are saying that they don’t have enough money to cover their share of CHIP, Medicaid and other social programs. California, for example, won’t extend CHIP to uninsured parents. Utah not only froze enrollment in CHIP, it also eliminated most dental coverage, imposed monthly premiums and increased co-payments for drugs, lab tests, X-rays and hospital stays. Montana also froze enrollment, Oklahoma and New Mexico are moving towards dropping children from the program, and Rhode Island imposed monthly premiums.
CHIP covers children whose families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford private health insurance. The federal government pays for up to 85% of the costs, the states the rest. By last year, 4.6 million children were enrolled in CHIP.
The politicians started CHIP and expanded Medicaid in the 1990s, as a way to justify cutting back on welfare. They said they wouldn’t allow people who go to work but get a low income to suffer a loss of the medical care welfare had provided.
Now, however, the politicians are going back on their promises. They say that these cuts are necessary because times are hard, that there’s no money, etc. They say they have to cut Medicaid and similar programs because these programs amount to a big part of the state budgets.
But that’s only because these social programs are used as a way to relieve the corporations from paying for health insurance for their workers, and to make taxpayers, that is, the working class itself, foot the bill instead. It’s all part of how corporations increased their profits year after year throughout the 1990s – with the help of the same politicians who cry poverty today.
Moreover, there are much bigger parts of state budgets that could be cut today – all those subsidies to the corporations.
Denying health insurance to children, that is, human beings in their formative years, means that millions of people will be prone to diseases throughout their entire lives. It’s a sick society that sacrifices the health of future generations for the sake of protecting the profits of a few.