Compassionate Conservatism, Bitchez

White House Acts to Limit Health Plan for Children:

The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families.

Administration officials outlined the new standards in a letter sent to state health officials on Friday evening, in the middle of a month-long Congressional recess. In interviews, they said the changes were aimed at returning the Children’s Health Insurance Program to its original focus on low-income children and to make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage.

After learning of the new policy, some state officials said today that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children by imposing standards that could not be met.
Got that? Instead of the expected veto of legislation to provide healthcare to children, which passed both the House and the Senate (the latter by a 68-31 vote), Bush has just decided to totally undermine the legislation so that it can't work as intended. Why? Because the worst thing that could happen for people whose political philosophy is dependent on the premise that government can't work is a government-run healthcare program actually working. And it's more important for these corporate fuck-junkies to prove that the government can't do anything better than "the market" than to save kids' lives. Culture of life, my big fat ass.

And once again, they're using the spooooooky specter of parents who will rip off the government ("make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage") to justify their horseshit decision, as if: A) there are actually massive numbers of adults who will abandon their private health insurance for no other reason than to rip off the government; and B) even if there were, that's reason to deny thousands and thousands of kids healthcare coverage. "Sorry, little Timmy—giving you coverage will require oversight to prevent abuse and that costs money, so if you want that kidney transplant, better start selling pencils, son. We've got nation-building to do. In, um, another nation. Oh, yeah—and tax cuts to keep subsidizing."

And here's where I rant again.

Conservatives love to babble about how progressives “hate America.” I don’t hate America—but I do hate certain things about America. I hate its promotion of avarice above social conscience, its fascination with wealth, its disdain of compassion for the weak, its delight in ignorance, its xenophobic nationalism, the immutable beliefs among so many of its citizens that the markets solve everything, that this country is the Almighty’s gift to the world, especially when it’s a still a really shitty place to live for lots of struggling people, that those people are always, only, to blame for their troubles, and that there’s something wrong with the rest of us who don’t wrap our hands around the throat of American Dream and wring every last bit of life out of it to our own benefit.

I hate that the idea that some of us could do with a little less so that others could have a little more has become a punchline.

Bush, and his administration, and his most enthusiastic supporters, represent all of it, even though they patently refuse to own up to it, instead calling us America-haters, wrapping themselves in the flag, and declaring themselves the True Patriots, so it’s all but impossible for someone like me to express my abhorrence of them without seemingly attacking America itself, so it’s easier for them to do what they really want to do—turn America into a place I really, genuinely do hate, by ridding it of everything that I love.

Because there are things I love about this country. I love that it is a beautiful mosiac of people and cultures and ideas; I love its landscapes; I love its spirit of adventure and innovation; I love that it produces some of the most generous and unique people on the planet; I love its humor; I love that it really does have the potential to be a land of opporunity for everyone, if we really gave that notion half the chance it deserved.

And those are precisely the things the Bush Brigade endeavors to crush, turning America into a nation where everyone who is not blandly, mindlessly like its self-appointed True Patriots are de facto threatening, where the natural and philsophical resources are raped and destroyed in the acquisition of more wealth, where philanthropy and empathy are relegated to little more than cute, clichéd memories, where the barrel-chested barons of a new Gilded Age stand astride the bodies of those who have been condemned to less fortunate fates, singing the praises of social Darwinism and bellowing about the superfluity of a social safety net. “The government never gave me anything!” they declare, as they deposit their million-dollar checks from their latest no-bid Defense Department contract then head off to Tiffany’s to get The Little Woman a bauble with their fat tax return.

They’re a truly disgusting lot. And the next time one of them has the temerity to accuse me of hating America, I’m going to tell them flat out, “No, I don’t hate America. I hate you.”

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