Oh, Those Big-Spending Liberals



Dave Mann

The New York Times ran a front-page story over the weekend about states that have expanded their health insurance coverage of children. Despite tough economic times and tight budgets, 13 states have spent more money on their version of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to cover more kids.

You can guess which states those were, right? Probably those big-spending, high-tax states on the coasts.

Well, no, actually.

Among the states that expanded coverage were these traditionally conservative, low-tax bastions: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and — of all places — Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers failed to pass their own CHIP expansion bill, despite the efforts of some of these folks.

The Legislative leadership — Straus, Ogden, Dewhurst — refused to allow a vote on CHIP expansion at session’s end. In the House, the leadership was so desperate to prevent a vote on CHIP that their machinations led to the recent three-day special session.

And the result?

Kids in Oklahoma receive better health coverage than kids in Texas.

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Dave Mann is a former editor of the Observer.