Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Utah Republicans against Health Care, part III

I never dreamt (or "nightmared") that there would be enough material on Utah Republicans who opposed health care for their citizens, especially poor children, to write about. Alas, there is at least three posts' worth.

Part I dealt with fmr.-Gov. Leavitt's crusade to keep more poor children from getting health care, and our Senators Hatch and Bennett's halfhearted attempt to do anything about it(getting quoted in the paper and co-sponsoring a bill you know will never see the light of day doesn't count gentlemen). Part II was our Republican state legislature's lust for subsidizing private schools with taxpayer dollars overwhelming a public-private effort to give the poorest of the poor health care in Utah. And now part III, wherein our Republican US House members vote with Bush rather than the children of their district.

The compromised SCHIP bill passed the US House 265-159 yesterday, with 220 Democrats and 45 Republicans voting for it. Among the 151 Republicans who voted with Bush and against expanding health care coverage for poor children were Chris Cannon and Rob Bishop.

An overwhelming majority of Americans (and Utahns), conservatives, moderates and liberals alike, support this bill. Here's Cannon's excuse for voting against it:
Congress would raise the cigarette tax by 61 cents a pack to pay for the program.
Cannon criticizes the tax increase and CHIP, while at the same time pushing health reform that includes tax credits and health savings accounts.
"Forcing Congress to tackle real reform and market solutions will be a far better gift to posterity than a broken system run from Washington," he said in a statement.
He is against cigarette tax increases? Increasing such taxes discourages people from starting to smoke, not only saving lives and money, but also preventing what Rep. Cannon's religion believes to be a sin. So why is he against it again? And not a peep out of Rep. Bishop, the school teacher that seems to hate poor children.

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