What kind of hard-harded politicians would hold up funding health care for uninsured children? Answer: anti-tobacco Democrats whose intransigence is putting kids at risk.

While the Democrats are working overtime trying to persuade the country that President Bush’s veto of their plan to expand children’s health care is cruel and uncaring, the reality is quite the opposite. President Bush is more than willing to sign legislation that continues and even expands the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) but is adamantly opposed to raising taxes to do so. Sadly, not only does the Democrat’s plan include raising taxes but that tax hike will be borne by one targeted segment of the population; the smokers.

Norman Kjono’s correspondence between him and his Democratic representatives is an eye-opener to how captive many legislators are to the tobacco control industry. When given the choice between providing health care to poor children or sticking it to the smokers the Democrats choose to dance to the tune of the manufacturers of smoking cessation devices, whose marketing plans consist of pricing cigarettes out of the reach of most people. Basing a large part of a program on a funding source that by their own admission will dry up as smokers quit smoking is by definition insane. The only winners from such a scheme can only be the corporations that who count on Washington politicians to work for them rather than the people who elected them.



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