Contrary to the claims of conservatives trying to save the brand from an unpopular product, George W. Bush is a conservative, no qualifier necessary. He showed off his conservatism last week by vetoing health insurance for more children:
“It is estimated that if this program were to become law, one out of every three persons that would subscribe to the new expanded Schip would leave private insurance,” the president said. “The policies of the government ought to be to help poor children and to focus on poor children, and the policies of the government ought to be to help people find private insurance, not federal coverage. And that’s where the philosophical divide comes in.”
Leaving aside the speciousness of Bush’s statistics, and the spectacular problems with America’s system of private insurance, this quote is telling on another level: It’s not just that George Bush and the GOP cohort vying to replace him believe freedom is about keeping the government out of providing you insurance more so than keeping sickness away from your child.
It’s that if there are three kids, George Bush would rather one have private insurance and two be left without health care than that all three have publicly-supported health care.
That should come as no surprise from the president who presided over Hurricane Katrina.