Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bush?s SCHIP veto: A parody

Express Staff Writer

"Democrats enlisted a 12-year-old boy to promote the program during the party's weekly radio address Saturday." —The Associated Press, Sept. 29, 2007.

Hi, my fellow Americans, my name is Cameron. I am 12 years old. I am, like, soooooooo mad at President Bush for vetoing the Democrats' $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Plan and at those mean-spirited Republicans in Congress for even thinking about sustaining the president's veto, which I didn't even know he could do until somebody in the lunchroom told me. I think it was a teacher. (Shout out to Dusty!)

An ... yway, my new BFFs Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi—I now call them Uncle Harry and Nonna, which is, like, totally radtastic—asked me to address the nation on the Democrats' SCHIP bill and the Republicans' war on children. Sad-eyed children like the ones you see in advertisements for the SCHIP bill. Cute and innocent children like me.

Dudes, why do President Bush and mean-spirited Republicans in Congress hate children? Why do they want to veto me?

"I believe that children are our future—teach them well and let them lead the way"—George Washington or George Benson said that. Who ... ever, it was one of the Founding Fathers, and it's as true today as was in 1865 during World War II.

But let's focus on the issues here. President Bush and the mean-spirited Republicans say the SCHIP should remain a program for low-income children. They say they even favor a $20 billion expansion of the program. But where would that leave children like me—middle-class children whose parents haven't bought health-insurance coverage for their families or middle-class children whose families now have private health-insurance coverage?

Democrats want to expand SCHIP eligibility from households at or below 200 percent of the poverty level ($41,300 for a family of four) to households making at least 300 percent of the poverty level (almost $62,000 for a family of four). The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Uncle Harry and Nonna's SCHIP bill would cause 2 million children to move out of private health insurance they now have and into the government-run health care program.

SuhhhhhhhWEET! A new middle-class entitlement program. Why should poor dudes get all the free stuff? Me and my parents have desperate needs, too. Multiple cars, private school tuition and nifty vacations don't come cheap. Money my parents don't have to shell out for health care is money they can spend on ... me, myself and middle-class I. (Old Navy, here I come.)

President Bush and the mean-spirited Republicans say SCHIP should be for underprivileged children and that Uncle Harry and Nonna's bill would make more adults eligible for coverage rather than cut back the states' adult coverage under SCHIP.

Helloo? All these adults were once children—who, by the way, are our future. Apparently President Bush and the mean-spirited Republicans haven't heard that the future is now. Besides, the Congressional Budget Office says it only costs 60 percent more to cover adults. Fantabulous!

It's not like Uncle Harry and Nonna don't have a way to pay for this new entitlement program for middle-class kids and adults who were once kids. They propose a 61 cents-per-pack increase in the federal tobacco tax. They told me a tax is like the allowance my parents pay me, which, like, should go up, too.

But President Bush and the Republicans—sorry, dudes, mean-spirited Republicans—say that, even with that tax hike, Democrats would still need to find 22 million new pack-a-day smokers to pay for their SCHIP expansion. Whatever, I'm sure Uncle Harry and Nonna will pass out those totally cool candy cigarettes to get us kids in the habit.

In conclusion, I don't know why President Bush and the mean-spirited Republicans want to stop middle-class kids like me from getting help from SCHIP. But, then, I don't know why they hate kids and eat puppies. Uncle Harry and Nonna say we're both so cute. I just hope they'll listen to my story. This is Cameron (Hi, Mom, will you drive me to the mall later today?) and this has been the Weekly Democratic Radio address. Thanks for listening.

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