10/04/07 — Care done right: Taxpayers cannot afford another ‘feel-good’ plan

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Care done right: Taxpayers cannot afford another ‘feel-good’ plan

A touchy, feely bill about providing health care for all children across the nation is easy politics.

After all, who is against children having proper health care? Who wants to keep them from getting exams, vaccinations and other care they need to get and to stay healthy?

So, a yes vote is easy.

The problem is, wide-sweeping measures like this sound good and make for great press in presidential campaigns, but they do not really delve into what it would take to make this sort of plan a reality.

You got it, lots more tax money.

No one is suggesting that there is not a need to look at health care in America, or that there should not be a push to make sure the nation’s children have the treatment they need.

But before this nation backs another feel-good measure without substance, it is time to merge wants with resources. We need to decide what we can afford and what we can do to make sure that our money is well-spent, with services going to those who really need them, not those who find it more convenient to let someone else pay the bill.

In the current health care system, providers are not the only places where there is misuse and greed. There are plenty of individuals who do not care how they use the system — or how much they are costing taxpayers. We cannot afford a child health care initiative like that.

Taking care of children should be a priority, but so, too, should making sure middle class working families can keep enough income to help their children grow up and go to college. And that won’t happen if we continue to throw money at shallow resolutions instead of putting common sense to work.

There are plenty of examples of other government programs that have become costly albatrosses. Let’s see if one of this year’s presidential hopefuls can come up with a children’s health care initiative that gets the job done cost-effectively.

Published in Editorials on October 4, 2007 10:30 AM