Monday, October 15, 2007

Living on faith

Fred Barnes must be a true believer. He thinks that once the GOP is able to make it clear to every Republican voter that the SCHIP controversy is really about expanding the program to people who count as middle class the whole boondoggle will be a plus for the GOP. He believes that the scales will fall from Republican eyes and they'll see that their party is just being fiscally responsible, holding the line on government spending.

What's wrong with that picture, outside of the bitterly ironic premise of fiscal repsonsibility that starts and ends with refusing to provide more children with access to healthcare? Well, what's wrong is that not being able to afford or, in some cases, qualify for private health insurance is not a partisan problem. We're not talking a couple of hundred a month. We're not even talking $500 a month. A thousand a month is modest. It's less than what the organization I work for pays for family converage for each employee on their goup plan. With more and more businesses opting out of providing any health coverage, or only contributing toward coverage for the employee and not for the family this is a problem that's just going to grow. It's not going away and it's not only Democrats who are vulnerable.

A barrage of talking points may cause some ripples in public opinion, but the demand for a real solution to this real world problem will continue to gather steam and an increasing number of middle class Republicans of modest means will come to believe that their party has abandoned them. To fail to see that is blind faith, and blind faith and political ideology don't mix well and political ideology doesn't trump material reality.