Gov. John Hickenlooper was wrong to veto Senate Bill 213, which would have increasedpremiums for families earning more than twice the federal poverty level. Enrolling one child costs just $25 per year. A Post editorial asked if it was unfair for SB 213 to raise the fee to $20 per month. It’s fair. According to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey, the poorest U.S. households spend on average more than $150 per month on alcohol, tobacco, sweets and entertainment.
What’s unfair is that Colorado compels taxpayers to fund a program that allows eligible parents to value satisfying bodily appetites more than their children’s health.
This was a very short version of my longer article on the subject, which describes how programs like CHP+ crowds out private insurance. That is, parents stop buying it and sign up for the tax-funded product. Read more:
Colorado Child Health Plan: Parents should value children’s health more than sweets and booze, Health Policy Solutions, May 17; Denver Daily News, May 20.