Thursday, February 5, 2009


In class this past week we discussed social welfare policies that had been in the news recently. We got into a long discussion about parenting, fertility treatments, autonomy, rights to bear children, people who are unfit to be parents, and so forth. I thought the conversation went well.

We didn't talk much about the recent passage of the CHIP law, which was signed the same day as our third class session.

Read about the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act at the White House blog.
If you wanna read the actual text of the law (PL 111-3), it's available here. And by the way, it's the third law passed by the 111th Congress. The second law (the Lilly Ledbetter Act) was an amendment to various civil rights laws to clarify that unlawful discrimination continues so long as discriminatory payment is made up until the time the court finds discrimination exists. This has the practical implication that you can sue someone for violating your civil rights related to unequal pay even if the unequal payments took place a long time before you discovered it, or if you have already stopped working at the workplace that was discriminating against you in your compensation. The first law of the 111th Congress was a boring financing act involving the Department of the Interior.

If you're interested in the CHIP program, here are some links to follow to learn more:
  1. National Conference of State Legislatures describes the SCHIP.
  2. The progressive (liberal) non-partisan Drum Major Institute describes SCHIP and explains the law at their middle class website.
  3. The very neutral and authentically non-partisan Project Vote Smart also offers some good analysis of the law.
  4. The low end of the strongest opposition to this S-CHIP program and the new law can be found at Michelle Malkin's blog (I shudder).
  5. For a more moderately toned opposition to this policy you'll find what you seek at the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
  6. For an example of what Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said about the program, and a little of his testimony about an amendment he tried to have added to the bill, check out the Congressional Record for January 28, 2009.
  7. As usual, the best reporting on this policy is from the Christian Science Monitor.

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