Friday, October 26, 2007

An Observation from Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo

Permit me to share with you two examples of how our government works:

The first example deals with how our illustrious government, the Executive and the Legislature, dealt with the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Our compassionate President George W. Bush has vetoed and is threatening once again to veto legislation to expand a popular program providing health insurance for American children. The original State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation was created to assist low and middle-income families who cannot afford private health insurance for their children and have too high income to qualify them for Medicaid. The new legislation aims to cover up to 10 million children (an addition of approximately 3.4 million to those currently covered) with basic health insurance. In the House, this legislation failed twice to muster the two-thirds majority vote to override the President’s veto—All thanks go to the President’s fellow compassionate Republican representatives. The legislation calls for increasing funding for this program from $25 to $35 billion over a five-year period or $2 billion per year. This money was to be generated by raising taxes on tobacco products. In this case, the Democrats in both Houses of Congress are the force behind this legislation.

The second example deals with the same government signing a $30 billion agreement to provide Israel with military aid over 10 years—an increase of 25 percent over previous years. Also, Egypt is to receive $13 billion over the same period. The only difference is that Egypt’s military assistance level remains the same. The source of funding for the $48 billion military package is the American tax-payers. Both countries, with obvious qualitative and quantitative differences, provide health care for their children. In fact, Israel provides its Jewish citizens with one of the most extensive and advanced social programs in the world, including health care. Both the Executive and the Legislature, Republicans and Democrats are on record supporting the military aid package for Israel. To date, no attempt has been made by the Congress to use the funds promised for this military aid package to cover 10 million American children with basic health care. The question is: Does this government (the President and Congress) represent the interest of the American people?

Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo