Gov. John Hickenlooper was wrong to veto Senate Bill 213, which would have increased Child Health Plan Plus premiums 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.