October 17, 2007 7:08PM

I Challenge Paul Krugman to a Debate on SCHIP

Democracy NOW! quotes New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on the State Children's Health Insurance Program:

the reason that Bush and much of the Republican leadership is so hostile to S-CHIP is not because they think it’s a bad program, but because they think it’s a good program, and that terrifies them. What bothers them so much is the fact that it works.

Why does Krugman think that SCHIP "works"? There is no evidence that the program is a cost-effective way of improving child health. It makes health care more expensive for those outside the program. It does not address the systemic problems that lead to low-quality pediatric care. It reduces the benefits of education and work effort, trapping families in low-wage jobs. It covers four uninsured children for the price of ten . . .

Krugman is an economist. Has he thought about these issues? Has he read any of this literature? What about this program "works"?

It's easy to dismiss right-wing hacks. These issues . . . not so easy to dismiss.