Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chicken is for Fundraisers

Chicken is not a game that should be played with healthcare for Georgia's children. Yet, this is exactly what the Georgia GOP did- they opted to play a game of chicken with the federal government to see who would come up with the funds to fill the gap for PeachCare.

Today, they finally did what Rep. Jim Marshall and Rep. Nikki Randall proposed long ago- they borrowed the money to fill the gap from the Medicaid program. I guess when a Democrat proposes something, partisan politics trumps child welfare and the idea is dismissed by the Republican leadership. It is too bad that this crisis was allowed to bloom, and too bad that families were stressed not knowing whether or not they would be able to continue coverage.

The Republican spin on this issue has been that Congress left them holding the bag and that Congress must act to 'fix' PeachCare. The truth is that Congress did precisely what they had promised, but Georgia's high enrollment (a good thing) exceeded projections. Congress, due to reauthorize spending for the S-CHIP program this year, will ultimately reimburse the state for the money that is now being used to bridge the gap. The 'fix' that was needed, and proposed early on by Randall, was that Georgia law did not provide for the state to step in a provide funding for the program in a crisis like the one that exists now-even if those funds would later be reimbursed. And, remember, due the the surplus Sonny talked about during the campaign, we had PLENTY of money to get this done. It was never a question of 'could' we do it- it was a question of priorities and 'would' we do it.

Now, the Republican leadership, who refused to even give her bill a hearing, have essentially adopted the language of that legislation and made it their own. Fine. At least our children are finally protected, but never forget that this is not the solution the GOP leadership wanted in Georgia. They wanted to shave children from the PeachCare rolls. That was their solution. I suspect that they polled the issue and discovered that most Georgians disagreed with this ill-conceived plan. Whatever gets it done.

6 comments:

Kathy said...

As a Democrat, a human being, and the grandmother of a disabled child, I cannot express my relief at this turn of events. And Jim has done something right! An embarrassment of riches, all in one day! Of course the Republicans are going to take credit if they can. No doubt you are right. They probably did some polling and discovered their constituents harbor "compassionate conservatives" who draw the line at denying health care to a child. I was amazed to hear this very issue addressed in the "prayers of the faithful" at my own church this past weekend.

The main thing is that the children will be provided for...right now. But when election time comes around again, we need to remind voters about this. A short memory could have us all repenting later on.

Mrs. Righteous Jackass said...

Amy,

Would you send this to my local right wing rag, The Covington News?
Email to: bellis@covnews.com and include your name and a telephone number for confirmation.

Thanks,
Sarah Todd (in Newton County)

Amy Morton said...

I sent it along to the paper. Who knows what they will do with it!

Amy Morton said...

We have to remain attentive to this issue. This 'fix' is a red herring. They hope we will all move on while they roll back elligibility.

Mrs. Righteous Jackass said...

I mean that THEY are screwing GA's children. Man, I gotta get more sleep!

Mrs. Righteous Jackass said...

I agree that we must remain attentive! They're good at bait and switches and this is exactly what this is. Bait them with a temporary fix and hope they won't notice that we're screwing GA's children.

Thanks for sending it in. I'm being published tomorrow in reponse to one of the most racist, anti-Muslim diatribes I've ever read in print. We're wondering if Oregon is far enough away to get away from these psycho idiots!