This piece from the Des Moines Register illustrates a fundamental problem with the way information is interpreted and reported today:
An estimated 13,000 children in Iowa are in jeopardy of losing health coverage while thousands of others have no coverage at all.
The Iowa Department of Human Services is trying to address a $13 million shortfall. Iowa is one of 14 states struggling to fund children’s health care because of problems with the formula that allocates federal money.
Congress has approved legislation that would cover the shortfall, but it’s attached to the Iraq war funding bill that President George W. Bush has promised to veto.
The rest of the story, or rather the backstory – is that Democrats attached the childrens’ health care spending to the war funding bill themselves, counting on the President’s veto, so that they could return to their districts and not only accuse the President of hypocrisy when it came to funding the troops, but also positioning themselves as champions of the uninsured children that Republicans, of course, hate.
Editor’s note: This quick glimpse into reportage at the newspaper Iowa once depended upon originally appeared in May, 2007. This kind of trickery could easily be prevented by mandating a “one bill/one purpose” policy in law-making.