Robert Bluey at Red State reports that Republicans have crafted an alternative to the expansion of SCHIP, the children’s health insurance program I blogged about last night. The Republicans task is a tricky one because any alternative must, as Rob puts it, “satisfy conservatives and shore up enough support among moderates to sustain the veto.” Republicans were unable to craft such a compromise two months ago.
Now, however, it looks like Sen. Martinez has come up with a proposal that bridges the gap, and has the support of conservative activists such as Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, as well as the White House. The Republican plan is based on is based on a Heritage Foundation proposal. It’s two key main elements are:
(a) Reauthorize SCHIP for eligible children, thereby covering children in families with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
(b) Enact a child health care tax credit for families with incomes between 200% and 300% of the poverty level.
The virtue of this plan is it covers the population targeted by the Democrats, but instead of forcing them to drop their current coverage and go on a government plan, it provides assistance to enable them to keep their current insurance plan.
Bluey reports that moderates such as Reps. Heather Wilson and Ray LaHood, are lobbying their colleagues to support the Democrats