To the Editor:

Re “G.O.P. Leaders Fight Expansion of Children’s Health Insurance” (news article, July 25):

Expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program seems like a no-brainer.

It succeeds at getting health care to children who otherwise would not have it. It is a good investment, too, because taking care of children now pays dividends when they are adults. So at a time when the administration can point to few successes, why not grow it and make a big deal of the accomplishments?

If Republicans would pay more attention to facts and less to ideology, they might do themselves—and us—some good for a change.

Stephen M. Davidson
Boston, July 26, 2007
The writer is a professor of health care management at Boston U.

Note from KBJ: (1) Here is the letter writer’s logic: Doing X would benefit others; therefore, we should do X. The question is not whether expanding CHIP does good (all would agree that it does) but whether it is worth the cost. Perhaps more good could be done by spending the money elsewhere. Perhaps it’s unjust to take money from some and give it to others. Perhaps expanding CHIP is the first step on a slippery slope to socialized medicine. (2) The writer implies that only Republicans are in the grip of ideology. Why would only one side of a debate be in the grip of ideology? (3) Facts don’t dictate actions. Just knowing the facts of a situation doesn’t tell you what to do. You need a norm or a value, conjoined with the facts, to tell you what to do. So the letter writer is being deceptive. He is trying to make it seem as though his position is fact-based, while that of his opponents is ideological. In fact, both positions are ideological.