Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Eight States to Sue Administration Over Child Health Care

As the time approaches for President Bush to veto the current SCHIP legislation, as he has repeatedly promised, the adversarial nature of the debate is turning litigious. Tom Hester at Newsday reports:

New Jersey on Monday joined seven states in filing separate lawsuits against the Bush administration's challenge of proposed federal rules the states say will force poor children to lose health coverage.

The lawsuit for New Jersey was filed Monday morning in federal court in Trenton, state Attorney General Anne Milgram said. New Jersey joins Maryland, Arizona, California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York and Washington in filing similar litigation.

"The Bush administration has gone beyond its regulatory rights," New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine said as he announced the lawsuit at an East Orange health center.

At the core of the conflict are rules issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services which the suits claim exceed the statutory authority set forth in Title XXI of the Social Security Act. The SCHIP legislation currently facing veto would remove these new strictures. What new strictures, you ask? Ralph Thomas at the Seattle Times brings us the following clarification:

Under the restrictions, before states can start enrolling kids above 250 percent of the poverty level, they must make sure they are covering at least 95 percent of kids at or below 200 percent of the poverty level.

[Washington State Governor] Gregoire said no state has been able to reach that mark. She said Washington has one of the nation's highest coverage rates, at about 91 percent.

"We just do not believe that is achievable and in fact was put in place to guarantee that we couldn't go above 250 percent of poverty," she said.

The restrictions also require new enrollees above 250 percent of the poverty level to go a year without insurance before they could enroll in SCHIP.

These strictures are being cast as beyond the legal limitations on federal power, and more states continue to bring suit agaisnt them.

"The federal government lacks the authority to do what it is trying to do," [NJ Attorney General] Milgram said, adding that New Jersey's plan has been approved eight times, including five times by the Bush administration.

[New Jersey Gov. Jon S.] Corzine has said the rules could risk health insurance coverage for 10,000 New Jersey poor children.

SOURCE: "8 States Sue Bush Over Children's Health Insurance" 10/01/07
SOURCE: "State to Sue Feds Over Childrens Health Insurance" 10/02/07
photo courtesy of Scott Ableman



    Perhaps the time has come, alas,
    For these United States
    To discontinue as a mass,
    Since it disintegrates,
    This Union Lincoln strove to keep--
    Nor do I think that it would weep
    Forefathers such as Jefferson,
    Adams or Madison, hard-won
    Though its creation came to pass.

    The fruit as hangs upon the bough
    Ripens, and then does drop
    In due time, nor one anyhow
    Can tell the thing to stop:
    It is a question of the time,
    All things exist in place and clime,
    No hastening nor slowing down--
    If states their union have outgrown
    Time is to harvest all that crop.

    Perhaps it is a sorry batch
    Of pickings; yet we ought
    Accept it, as a meager catch
    To fishermen is brought
    In unpropitious temperatures,
    In wastage of their nets and lures--
    The tree of this our unity
    Has gotten old, impunity
    None ours to have althought ´tis sought.

    The evidence so indicates,
    As with one´s open eyes
    Its usefulness each one berates,
    Pompous yet telling lies
    The Federal Government as struts
    Across the stage, with its tut-tuts,
    And thou-shalt-nots about religion
    While failing to do yet a smidgen
    About pressing realities.

    So busy is the posture of
    The Federal politician,
    Yet each neglects--save some big shove--
    The purposeful position
    Of governance: to plan and help,
    Manage and arbitrate each step
    So that the future be secure;
    And we the boastful pride endure
    That each presents, without much love.

    So bad it gets, the states apart
    See little recourse, save
    Suing the Feds, as to jumpstart
    Them in their duty, grave
    Effort because paralysis
    Have turned the Fed a nemesis--
    As for example how it hated
    To have emissions regulated
    So that all progress it would thwart.

    The fault lies most with these
    Republicans--but please,
    Democrats on their knees
    Idle, both parties making
    A game--there´s no mistaking--
    To keep Big Business raking.

    So when the Fed has failed to function,
    Abolish it without compunction,
    Since it, for worse and not for bettra
    Did abdicate its raison d´etre.

  2. Wow. Thank you for not only sharing your viewpoint but also for doing so in verse! I think this is the first poetic comment we have received here at Health care Reform Now!

    In an issue as complex as the health care situation has become there are always a myriad of views. I find that at the grassroots level I often find vitriol aimed at our government, lobbies, and "Big Pharma," to be a frequent chorus on the web.

    Thank you for sharing your views so eloquently, I hope it sparks further debate.


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