Those wanting to dive into this story should review the rhetoric of the 2007 debate, for it tells much about the reasons why the program may eventually be repealed. Writing for the Health Affairs blog, Grace-Marie Turner, who heads the conservative Galen Institute, argued that if families with higher incomes were allowed into the program, at least one child would lose private insurance for every two new kids enrolled in SCHIP. That would crowd out private coverage.

She also argued for keeping a cap on the SCHIP funding to avoid creating another entitlement program. “Entitlement programs pose a sizeable future threat to taxpayers,” Turner wrote. There you have it—SCHIP tangled up in all the old ideological arguments about preserving the market for private insurers that already stand to gain handsomely from health reform.

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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.