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The advocates SCHIP expansion have now abandoned all pretense to rationality and settled on a strategy based wholly on moral posturing and prevarication. The essence of this tawdry approach is captured in a national ad being run by the American Cancer Society, approvingly described at GoozNews as follows:
Beneath a picture of a young child and a cigarette, with check boxes next to each, is the headline: “Mr. President, Choose Wisely.
In addition to confirming that the ACS is now just another political front group, this ad is a grotesque mixture of sanctimony and subterfuge. It deliberately perpetuates two falsehoods: that anyone who doesn’t support SCHIP expansion hates children and that it is ethical to pay for the program with a tobacco tax.
As to the children, I have pointed out previously that SCHIP funds have been increasing diverted from the low-income kids for whom they were originally intended to middle class adults who already have insurance. Why? Because adults vote and kids don’t.
And a tobacco tax is particularly underhanded way of forcing low-income people to pay for a program that Congress has redesigned to benefit the middle class. A variety of studies, including this one, have shown that any new tax hike on tobacco products will place an excessive burden on the poor.
The strategy adopted by the advocates SCHIP expansion is utterly contemptible, and the ACS ad is worse. Until it returns to political neutrality, the American Cancer Society will never get another dime from me.
+ May 2009
+ May 2008
+ May 2007