Hawaii Hates Kids
Hawaii is dropping the only state universal child health care program in the United States just seven months after it launched.
Gov. Linda Lingle's [R] administration cited budget shortfalls and other available health care options for eliminating funding for the program.
A state official said families were dropping private coverage so their children would be eligible for the subsidized plan.
"People who were already able to afford health care began to stop paying for it so they could get it for free," said Dr. Kenny Fink, the administrator for Med-QUEST at the Department of Human Services. "I don't believe that was the intent of the program."
It's never the intent of a government program, but it is a consequence of the action. State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is another example of this.
The program, created by Republicans in 1997, [What?! That's impossible!? Heartless Republicans giving away free health care to children?? Well, it's okay, because now they're taking it away.] has a tendency to crowd out private insurance. A study by the Bureau of Economic Research shows that 6 out of every 10 kids enrolled in SCHIP already had private insurance coverage prior to the creation of the program. That number jumps with the expansion passed earlier this year. People were dropping coverage to go with the cheaper, government run program. One could draw a similar conclusion directly to the health care proposal being pushed by Democrats in Congress for the National plan.
As John Stossel (ABC News) points out, "Of course it’s popular. People love getting free stuff." He also warns of the collapse of the system due to the unfunded liabilities.