Defenders of the S-CHIP expansion refute the accusations of its critics that it amounts to a Trojan horse for nationalized health care. However, The Politico notes that a 1993 memo from Hillary Clinton's health-care task force proposed using children as a mechanism in order to take control of health-care delivery for all Americans. The revelation gives the White House new momentum for its expected veto:
Back in 1993, according to an internal White House staff memo, then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s staff saw federal coverage of children as a “precursor” to universal coverage.
In a section of the memo titled “Kids First,” Clinton’s staff laid out backup plans in the event the universal coverage idea failed.
And one of the key options was creating a state-run health plan for children who didn’t qualify for Medicaid but were uninsured.
That idea sounds a lot like the current State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was eventually created by the Republican Congress in 1997.
“Under this approach, health care reform is phased in by population, beginning with children,” the memo says. “Kids First is really a precursor to the new system. It is intended to be freestanding and administratively simple, with states given broad flexibility in its design so that it can be easily folded into existing/future program structures.”
Mark Tapscott notes the significance of the memo:
The document reported by Politico exposes the true basic intent behind liberal proposals to cover portions of the population with a new Big Government entitlement - to create a precedent for covering the entire population with that entitlement.
The first lesson here for conservatives is this - Transparency is Big Government's worst enemy, so making Big Government as transparent as possible in every aspect not essential to national security or law enforcement should be a major priority for conservatives.
The second lesson is this: Where you start determines the direction of a compromise, so make the opposition compromise toward your basic principles. The SCHIP program was created in 1997 by the Republican majority in Congress as a compromise with the Clinton administration, which after the collapse of Hillarycare in 93 fell back to seeking incremental implementation of universal coverage.
Mark points out that the memo would not have come to light without a lawsuit forcing the disclosure of the Hillary Clinton task force deliberations. It took years to get daylight on this memo, and now we know why her attorneys fought so hard to keep it out of sight. The memo confirms the direction taken by the task force, and the direction Hillary would take if elected. It also shows the duplicity of the approach taken by the task force, and how closely it matches the effort to expand S-CHIP far beyond its original mandate.
Be sure to read all of Mark's column, which rightly focuses on disclosure as the antidote to big and incompetent government.