Topic category: Other/General
Democrats spin their wheels on SCHIP funding
It's deja vu all over again as Congressional Democrats took another vote Thursday on a bill to expand free health insurance coverage to children in households earning more than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $62,000 a year for a family of four.
If this looks and smell like a prelude to HillaryCare, the federal government's takeover of health insurance, that's exactly what it is.
Thursday's vote in the House was 265-142 (only 1 Democrat opposed the measure). The bill moves to the Senate.
The same bill was vetoed by President Bush last week but Pelosi's Democrats couldn't muster the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto.
Democrats want to add 4 million more children to the federal health insurance rolls, bringing SCHIP coverage to a total of 10 million children. These kids will grow up some day and having depended on government handouts all their lives, they probably will register as Democrats.
There is a small matter of paying for the SCHIP expansion, which is expected to cost $35 billion. Democrats say they can cover the costs by raising the federal tax on tobacco by 61 cents a pack.
It seems to me that Democrats would have to encourage a whole new generation of young smokers to pick up the habit if they expect to have enough people paying the new cigarette tax.
The 265 votes cast for SCHIP expansion was 7 shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto, according to the Associated Press. In addition, 14 Republicans who voted to sustain Bush's original veto missed Thursday's vote, the wire service reported. So that means Democrats should fall 21 votes shy of overriding another threatened Bush veto.
Which brings us back to the original question: Don't these people have anything better to do?
Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, put the Democrats' desperation into perspective and reminded everyone why the job approval rating of Congress since the Democrats took over in January has sunk even lower than George W. Bush's numbers:
"This bill is not going to become law. If you're tired of the political games, if you're tired of Congress' approval rating being at these ridiculous levels, let's all just vote no."
Biography - Tony Phyrillas
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas