Blackadder’s Lair

The home of many a cunning plan

Easy Come, Easy Go

Hawaii is dropping the only state universal child health care program in the country just seven months after it launched.

Gov. Linda Lingle’s 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.”

More. Commenting at Cato, Michael Cannon makes a telling point:

Hawaii’s “now you see it, now you don’t” approach is shortchanging thousands of children by disrupting their coverage and care. Again, the Church of Universal Coverage will protest: “But that’s just because Hawaii has an awful Republican governor.” But that’s exactly the point. As I tried to explain to pre-Nobel laureate Paul Krugman: there will always be awful Republican governors. Putting the government in charge means that the medical care you need to keep yourself or your loved ones alive can disappear with a shift in the political winds. The resulting harm is not just the work of black-hearted Republicans. It’s a risk inherent to all universal coverage schemes.

When people advocate a larger role for government, they typically think of government being staffed by honest and competent officials. They ought to imagine it being run by their political opponents. Because, you know, it will be.

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October 18, 2008 - Posted by | Government, Health Care

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