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12 July 2008


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The post doesn't mention health care, which I think is a flaw in the argument. No argument from me, of course, that the hypothetical 17yo's baby is better off being cared for by people who love her than being placed in group daycare. But how is her family going to come up with the money for prenatal care and her hospital bills? (Another point in favor of homebirth, right?) I just cannot think that it is a pro-life action to oppose SCHIP.

If someone I loved was in a crisis pregnancy situation, or was aging and frail, of course I would be responsible for providing help. But someone trained needs to catch that baby; someone licensed needs to treat the treatable aspects of that frailty. And those costs are out of reach for many families.


Health care costs is a big enough, and diverse enough, topic that it can't be "a" flaw in the argument... you can break it down so many different ways into sub-issues and sub-sub-issues. The one you mention specifically, state health insurance for children, I agree is a good idea, and a pro-life one at that. Depending, of course, on the specifics of what procedures they pay for.

One of the things I liked about Darwin's post is that he acknowledges that having social service programs like these might indeed be the right choice -- just that they do come with a cost, not just a dollar cost but a social cost. (Greater isolation of families from one another... less willingness for people to step up and help their neighbors directly... less compassion for those who ask for help from strangers or family members...)

The costs are just something to be aware of (a) when deciding whether to have them (b) when designing them (c) when allocating funds for them. Is there anything we can do to mitigate the social costs of the programs, or to compensate for those costs?

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